Altior would be one of the racers at The Betfair Exchange Chase in Newbury, formally called the Game Spirit Chase on Saturday as it hopes to do what is known best for – winning.
The race would feature other stars, but Altior’s appearance is very interesting because his trainer, Nicky Henderson, has been unwilling to let it race after its defeat at Ascot last November.
Altior dominated the racing scene for 19 races until it was beaten by Cyrname. A defeat which has made Henderson very reluctant to set it on the tracks again.
Just last month, he pulled the horse out of the race at Kempton, even after the vet had screened the horse and found it in good shape. This was after the horse missed a match in December, although it was due to an abscess.
Henderson has, however, said he is sure the horse can do it now. He admitted the pressure he was under to make the horse try something different, and that decision had made Altior miss out on races it would ordinarily win.
But now, Henderson is sure the horse is “pretty ready.” Already, Altior has won this race two times, and if he wins it on the 8th, it would be his third win. Henderson is also hoping Altior would compete in the face at the Queen Mother Chase in March, where it hopes it break a record for the second horse to score a hat trick at the event.
Other horses taking part in the event include Bun Doran, whose trainer, Tom George had earlier resolved to race the horse in March after it had won in Kempton in December, in a race Altior did not show up for. He seems quite optimistic that the horse is ready to race, citing its performance last December.
He also made mention of the fact that there would have been a worry if the horse were going against the ‘Altior of old”, implying that he, like some other people, were unsure of the horse performing well in the race. The remaining horses in the race include Sceau Royal, Kalashnikov, Dynamite Dollars, and Simply Ned.
Written by: Leon Osamor