Nicky Henderson says Altior is in “absolutely terrifying” shape as he prepares for Saturday’s Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown. The eight-year-old is unbeaten in 14 starts over jumps and there is plenty of hype about the Patricia Pugh-owned horse, who could emerge as the real star once again of the National Hunt season.
Altior faces just three rivals at Sandown on Saturday and the reigning Queen Mother Champion Chase winner is the odds-on favourite to extend his superb form.
Henderson has been in awe watching him in the build-up to the race, and he said: “Altior’s been brilliant at home. Watching him schooling has been absolutely terrifying – he’s been brutal over the fences – and I don’t think [jockey] Nico [de Boinville] had ever been so fast in all his life.”
Altior is expected to get the better of the other three runners at Sandown but if he does suffer a shock slip-up, former Tingle Creek Chase winner Un De Sceaux could take advantage.
Sceau Royal, who has won his last four races, including at Cheltenham in November, and Saint Calvados are the other dangers.