Wednesday 17 October 2018

'Spectacular' Altior delights Henderson

Nicky Henderson has reported Altior to be in good order following his impressive victory on his return at Newbury on Saturday. (Stock photo)
Nicky Henderson has reported Altior to be in good order following his impressive victory on his return at Newbury on Saturday. (Stock photo)

Thomas Kelly

Nicky Henderson has reported Altior to be in good order following his impressive victory on his return at Newbury on Saturday.

Last season's Arkle hero stepped up his preparations for next month's Champion Chase on first start since undergoing a wind operation when maintaining his unbeaten record over jumps in Grade Two company.

"He is 100pc and he pulled out great this morning. It was very important yesterday (Saturday) and you have to say it could not have gone any more spectacular," said Henderson.

"The whole thing impressed me. He relaxed, put his head down and jumped beautifully. Everything was good.

"I didn't dare to dream he would win as well as that. It is nice that he is still unbeaten.

"It's a shame that he has missed good races but, if everything goes right, he has still got plenty of big races to go for.

"The wind wasn't a problem. If anything was going to test his wind, it was that ground.

"It is well done to the guys who did the operation. They did a very good job as we were able to get him back a little bit quicker from a full hobday operation.

"I can relax a bit more now we have got the run into him as there is no rush to give him a racecourse gallop. He doesn't need to go for a racecourse gallop now and I doubt if he will.

"The good thing is he does what he does at home on the racecourse. Not many horses have his class."

Meanwhile, Colin Tizzard is hopeful that Finian's Oscar will be fit to run at Cheltenham after also undergoing a wind operation.

"He has had his palate cauterised and is back cantering. With a minor operation like that, you can have them back running in a month. He should be fine for Cheltenham," said an upbeat Tizzard.

Tizzard was unable to provide a similarly positive update on Pingshou.

The eight-year-old claimed Grade One glory at Aintree last April, but has not been seen since finishing third at Punchestown later that month.

"He is not quite right. He missed two years before we had him and he is not easy to keep sound."

Irish Independent

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