Altior to miss Champion Chase at Cheltenham

Altior to miss Champion Chase at Cheltenham

NICKY HENDERSON has confirmed that Altior will miss the Champion Chase at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

The 11-year-old horse will miss the race due to health concerns.

Altior has won the race twice previously as well as the Arkle and the Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

However, the veteran horse coughed after exercising on Monday morning, and won't be running as a result.

Henderson released the news via a statement on Twitter which read: "We are very sorry that we have taken the decision not to run Altior in the Champion Chase on Wednesday.

"He coughed after exercise this morning, which caused us to scope him, and as a result of what we have seen it would not be sensible to run him.

"This is devastating for all of us... His work and schooling last week was as good as we have ever seen and we couldn't have been happier with his whole preparation.

"Not surprisingly, this is a bitter blow to us all and we are so sorry for everyone that he will not be there on Wednesday."

This comes after Altior missed last year's Queen Mother with a splint, which emerged the weekend before the race.

The Cheltenham festival kicks off on Tuesday 16 March.