Altior set for Newbury return

06 February 2018 05:54:02 EST

Nicky Henderson has confirmed that unbeaten chaser Altior is set to return action this weekend at Newbury.

The brilliant eight-year-old enjoyed a wonderful novice chasing campaign last term, culminating in an impressive Cheltenham Festival success in the Racing Post Arkle.

An early-season setback ruled Altior out of his intended comeback in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December, with Henderson then choosing to send his charge for a minor wind operation.

The Seven Barrows handler is happy with Altior and, while he had previously stressed there would be no concern in going straight to the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham next month, he is now set to line out in the Game Spirit at Newbury on Saturday.

Stablemate and King George VI Chase hero Might Bite is going straight to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, a race he is 3/1 to win.

"Altior has been given an entry for Newbury on Saturday and the intention is very much to run," Henderson confirmed.

"His work has been good and we're very happy. We'll keep an eye on the weather but if it stays good to soft/soft, he'll be declared. Might Bite will go straight to Cheltenham."

Altior is currently 4/6 to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase. He looks set to renew hostilities with old foe Min in that race. Altior beat the Willie Mullins-trained hotpot to win the 2016 Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the festival.

Injury forced Min to miss the Arkle last season but he's on track for the Champion Chase after an impressive win the Dublin Racing Festival over the weekend and can be backed at 9/4 for Cheltenham glory.

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