Nicky Henderson: Altior ‘as good as ever’ ahead of Celebration Chase challenge

Two-time Cheltenham Festival winner Altior will put his ten-race unbeaten record on the line in a strong running of the Celebration Chase at Sandown.

Nicky Henderson’s seven-year-old hasn’t been seen since winning the Arkle on the opening day of the Festival, a year on from his impressive victory in the Supreme Novice’s Hurdle.

He has picked up three Grade One prizes, but this is his first start out of novice company.

His victorious have been hugely impressive, and if he can repeat his Cheltenham form he should run out an easy winner.

“He’s absolutely fine and he goes there in great shape,” said the Lambourn-based trainer.

“He’s in as good form as he ever, he ran a great race at Cheltenham and won nicely. This looks to be a good race but he has been brilliant for us this season and we are very happy with him.”

“He will need to run well again but he should like the ground and the trip is fine for him too, I’m looking forward to it.”

Altior 4/11
Special Tiara 5/1
Vaniteux 20/1
San Benedeto 20/1

Henderson also runs Vaniteux, who won a listed contest at Ayr last weekend.

“He ran a really nice race at Ayr last time and we were very happy with the way he ran. It was a very good performance.

“Cheekpieces really helped him there, and we’ve decided to keep them. He should run a nice race too.”

He takes on Special Tiara in the Grade One contest, Henry De Bromhead’s ten-year-old was victorious in the Queen Mother Champion Chase beating a struggling Douvan.

Meanwhile Paul Nicholls sends San Benedeto to the Surrey track, hoping to push for prize money to reclaim his champion trainer prize which looks to be heading to Henderson.

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