Altior Set for A Return Where A Third Champion Chase Are in His Sights

Published 2020/11/10

Altior Set for A Return Where A Third Champion Chase Are in His Sights

Altior has been one of the most dominant chasers in the UK and Ireland over the last five years.

However, it has not been easy sailing for the two-time Queen Mother Champion Chase over the last 12 months.

Nicky Henderson’s runner featured just twice last season. He was beaten for the first time in his career over fences when he finished second in the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot in a race which was won by Cyrname.

Altior did bounce back from that defeat to prevail in the Grade Two Game Sprit Chase at Newbury later in the campaign. Unfortunately for those connections to the horse, he was unable to build upon that as he was ruled out of the rest of the season, including the Cheltenham Festival, with a splint problem.

With that injury now behind him, Altior is set to make a return to action next month in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown. The 10-year-old, who won the contest in 2018, has opened up as the 10/3 favourite in the horse betting to come out on top again.

If everything goes to plan at Sandown, Altior’s team will be focusing on more big-race glory in the rest of the campaign. They will have the Desert Orchid Chase, Clarence House Chase and Game Spirit Chase as possible targets for their horse.

A return to the Festival in March will be the main goal this season for the chaser who has won 15 races over fences. Only one horse in history has been successful three times in the Queen Mother Champions Chase and that is Badsworth Boy, who prevailed in 1983, 1984 and 1985. Altior is 8/1 to match that record in March in the biggest 2m chase contest in the sport.

Chacun Pour Soi Expected to Be Biggest Challenger to Altior

The 2m chase division is one of the strongest in jumps racing at the moment so this season has the potential to be very exciting. Arguably the biggest competition to Altior is Chacun Pour Soi from Willie Mullins’ yard in Ireland.

Mullins’ runner has won three of his four races over fences since moving to his yard from France. He was expected to put in a bold bid for the Queen Mother Champion Chase last season, particularly after his victory in the Grade One Dublin Chase at Leopardstown, but he was also ruled out of Cheltenham with an injury.

The Irish horse will have the opportunity to get some more experience over fences this season before he makes the trip across the Irish Sea for the festival. He is unlikely to meet Altior before then, therefore, those looking forward to that clash may have to wait until March.

Chacun Pour Soi is the 5/1 favourite in the 2021 Queen Mother Champion Chase betting. The 2m contest is one of the few major races at the meeting that Mullins has yet to win so he will be hoping his talented horse can give him his success next year.

If Altior is able to return and overcome the latest challengers in the division, including Chacun Pour Soi and Defi Du Seuil, he will prove to be one of the best 2m chasers of any generation.