The Nicky Henderson trained Altior made a winning return to action at Newbury racecourse on Saturday, securing his third Betfair Exchange Chase.
It was far from flamboyant, but he got the job done, except not in the manner supposed to further his Cheltenham credentials for next months festival; “the jury is out on him“ – The current market odds of 2/1 for the Champion Chase looks day-light robbery by the bookies.
“Altior’s jumping fluent but unhurried throughout”
He did appear to travel kindlier which was a much better spectacle than his previous outing at Ascot where his habitual ability wasn’t seen, although It still was far from comfortable watching the entire time for supporters – the well-punted 1/3 favourite beheld to being in big trouble pending the home straight; the injection of pace seemed to catch him ‘snoozing’ though he went through his gears remarkably and overcame that flat spot to some with extent animated urgings from jockey Nico De Boinville in the saddle; he eventually found his stride to prevail with plenty in-hand at the finish.
His jumping was far from exceptional, which he will be found out in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham contrasted to the silky Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi; who will give him a much sterner test. If it gets tactical at Cheltenham, I’d be apprehensive about him being able to overcome his now almost expected mid-race flat spot; Altior is far from banker material with all things considered. I’d be against him at this stage from a value angle though I do realize he wouldn’t have been fully would up for that race yesterday.