Altior given the go-ahead to run at Kempton
Nicky Henderson has given ten-year-old Irish bred, Altior, the greenlight to run in the Unibet Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton this Saturday. Altior will run alongside Dan Skelton’s Born Survivor, Tom Gretton’s Kauto Riko and Warren Greatrex’s Keeper Hill in the Grade 2 race.
The race is significant as it will be Altior’s first since his winning streak was shattered by rival, Cyrname, at the unforgettable Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot last November. His first defeat in twenty races, Altior remained a length a half behind Cyrname for the majority of the race but was unable to surpass the late burst from Cyrname, ridden by Harry Cobden, when it came down to the final three fences. Although, Cyrname put up an impeccable performance, many were sad to see an end to Altior’s impressive record.
Henderson has since admitted that Altior should not have run in the famous showdown. He recently revealed that ‘It wasn’t wise in retrospect because Altior wasn’t fit enough and we both paid the price for it’. The purpose of the race was to prepare Altior for the King George VI Chase at Kempton but alas things did not go according to plan. Henderson attributed the result down to bad timing and subsequently, Altior was not able to run in the King George but also missed the Desert Orchid Chase due to an abscess.
That being said, Nicky’s top jockey Nico de Boinville who rode Altior during the famous Ascot race, put Altior through his paces last Saturday morning. After a pleasing performance, Henderson conversed with Altior’s owner, Patricia Pugh who took ownership of Altior in 2013. Both she and Henderson agreed that Kempton would be his next race.
Henderson soon confirmed the news via Twitter; ‘I’ve had a discussion with the Pugh’s regarding Altior and he will be entered in the G2 Unibet Racing Silviniaco Conti Chase over 2m4f Kempton on Saturday with the intention very much to run.’ He then went on to confirm Nico de Boinville’s contentment with Altior’s work over the weekend. De Boinville was crowned leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019 thanks to Altior’s success at Queen Mother Champion Chase last year. He will no doubt be looking for Altior to replicate the same success this year.
In addition to Kempton, it has also been confirmed that Altior will compete in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot next week. Altior magnificently won this Grade 1 race last year, having almost a 10-length lead against Fox Norton and Diego du Charmil. Will Altior be the favourite again this year and will he be able to defend his title in 2020?
Looking to repeat last year’s Cheltenham success, Altior is also down for some possible entries for this years’ Cheltenham Festival. He may potentially run in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase on Ladies Day. Who can forget the excitement of last year’s race as Altior narrowly took the lead against Politologue and Sceau Royal. He is also a possible entry for the Ryanair Chase on St Patricks Day and the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase on Gold Cup Day.
Here’s hoping that Altior puts up a robust performance at both Kempton and Ascot to kickstart another winning streak and perhaps we will see a repear of last years’ Cheltenham success!
Did you know that Nico de Boinville will also be our guest of honour at The Cheltenham Festival at our Silks facility? Head on over to our Silks hospitality page now for your chance to rub shoulders with Nico and our other celebrity guest tipsters!