Champion horse, Altoir, would no longer take part in the Unibet Silviniaco Conti Chase taking place in Kempton this Saturday, as confirmed by his trainer, Nicky Henderson.
This was after Henderson was contacted by officials at the British Horseracing Authority. As at Tuesday, Altior’s name was still in for the race, even though he had not yet been scratched.
According to Henderson, his reason for refusing to let the horse race this weekend was because he does not just feel the horse is in the best state. That is despite affirming that Altior is in good form. The BHA also sent a veterinarian to assess the horse, and they confirmed that the horse is fit and in running condition, but Henderson still thinks it’s in the best interest of Altior not to run on the tracks on Saturday.
Altior has always been a favorite for many. For a long time, he went unbeaten, up to 19 races until he was beaten by Cyrname in Ascot in November last year. This is the second time in two months he is missing a race in Kempton after pulling out of the Desert Orchid Chase in December. Then, it was due to an abscess. Now, Henderson is not just comfortable with putting his horse on the tracks, despite it being physically fit.
The champion trainer has however, said that Altior would take part in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, taking place at the Cheltenham Festival in March, hoping to win it for a record third time.
If Altior wins it, then it would earn a place in history, being the second horse to accomplish such a feat after Badsworth Boy did it between 1983 and 1985. It would also be the fifth time it would win at the Festival. Until then, Henderson is considering putting in the horse for the Matchbook Clarence House Chase at Ascot next week and the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury in February.
Written by: Leon Osamor