Nicky Henderson pleased with Altior preparations ahead of Champion Chase


Nicky Henderson reports all to be well with Altior as last year's Arkle Trophy winner bids to make a triumphant return to Cheltenham in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase next week.

The star two-mile performer made a belated comeback last month with a pleasing success over Tingle Creek winner Politologue at Newbury.

Henderson has had a smooth run with the unbeaten chaser since then.

"Everything went right (at Newbury) and we haven't needed to have done a whole heap (of work)," Henderson told Unibet's Cheltenham Festival preview.

"He did a bit of work (on Monday morning). He'll do a little bit more and then he can have a school.

"He's a natural athlete."

Altior's final run of last season came in the Celebration Chase at Sandown where he defeated the 2017 Champion Chase winner Special Tiara.

Henry de Bromhead's 11-year-old is set for his fifth successive appearance in this race having finished sixth and third twice in his other attempts.

His rider Noel Fehily sees no reason why Special Tiara cannot add to his decent record in the race.

"I thought he ran very well at Leopardstown the last time (when third to Min in the Dublin Chase)," he said.

"It looks a good Champion Chase, but he never knows how to run a bad race.

"He always turns up, goes flat out, jumps and he's always there or thereabouts.

"He's a very genuine horse and tries his best."