Home NEWS Nicky Henderson on Altior ahead of Ascot clash: ‘He’s in great form –...

Nicky Henderson on Altior ahead of Ascot clash: ‘He’s in great form – he doesn’t look like a horse who’ll stay’

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Nicky Henderson took three of his four runners, including the 8-1 favourite OK Corral, to Newbury on Tuesday for a gallop ahead of next week’s Ladbroke Trophy at the course, but post-gallop discussions all centred around Altior ahead of his clash with Cyrname at Ascot on Saturday.

The two-time Champion Chaser steps up in trip to two miles five furlongs for the first time and, as the race approaches, Henderson is beginning to question the wisdom of it, as the nine-year-old has clearly been kicking Buveur d’Air out of the way on the gallops.

“He’s in great form,” Henderson said. “It’s a big ask because of the step up in trip, but if you saw his work last Friday he doesn’t look like a horse who’ll stay. Either that or Buveur d’Air is slow!

“I hope he relaxes, but if he goes into attack mode it’ll get very aggressive very early. Let’s hope it lives up to its billing.”

OK Corral, ridden by Sir Anthony McCoy, was giving weight to his stable companions and stayed on deep inside the last furlong of the gallop. “It’s his first run outside of novice and I’m not saying he’s another Bobsworth or Trabolgan, but he has a good profile,” Henderson said.

“When he won at Warwick he didn’t look he needed four miles, but because Derek O’Connor had come over to sit on him we stuck to the plan to run in the National Hunt Chase. But four or five of ours did get over their vaccinations [for the equine flu outbreak] and a lump the size of a melon came up on his neck. We’ve put a line through that.”

His other runners in the Ladbrokes Trophy are Beware The Bear and Brave Eagle, both set to carry 11st 10lb, and the “still learning” On The Blind Side.

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