Altior motoring ahead of comeback
Nicky Henderson reports unbeaten jumper Altior to be in fine fettle ahead of a planned return to action in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December.
Altior was scheduled to return in the Sandown showpiece last season, but a minor concern over his breathing halted him, ensuring he didn't make his seasonal reappearance until Newbury in the spring, before going to Cheltenham and winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase in supreme style.
He is in good form and, all being well, his obvious starting point would be the Tingle Creek.Nicky Henderson
Now eight years old and unbeaten in 14 starts over obstacles, Altior is one of the brightest stars at Henderson's Seven Barrows yard.
The champion trainer is keen once more to have his charge ready to start in the mid-winter two-mile showpiece at Sandown on Saturday 8th December. For a leading two-miler, Henderson says the targets pick themselves.
"He is in good form and, all being well, his obvious starting point would be the Tingle Creek," he told At The Races.
"This time last year we were saying the same thing and it went wrong to start with but he's in great form - it plays itself as he could then go to Kempton, the Queen Mother and the Celebration Chase at Sandown at the end."
Altior is 4/11 to retain his Queen Mother Champion Chase crown at Cheltenham in March, with last season's Arkle winner Footpad rated a 6/1 chance for trainer Willie Mullins.
Henderson suggests Altior might be given an entry in the King George VI Chase over three-miles at Kempton on Boxing Day, though he certainly won't turn up there if stablemate Might Bite is fit and well to defend his Christmas crown.
"There has been talk of the King George and if it closed now we would put him in it, but I think that is highly unlikely," he added. "If Might Bite is in fighting form and ready to go there then there is no point in pitching them in together."
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