Altior to swerve Cheltenham and head straight to Sandown

Altior will not run at Cheltenham this weekend

Nicky Henderson has decided to skip the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham on Sunday with Altior.

The champion chaser will instead wait to make his seasonal reappearance in the Tingle Creek at Sandown on December 8.

Henderson said: “He’s in terrific form and working very well, but three weeks before it I don’t really need a race.”

Nicky Henderson will unleash Altior at Sandown next month
Nicky Henderson will unleash Altior at Sandown next month (Andrew Mathhews/PA)

Henderson will instead rely on Brain Power, who was last seen falling in the Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree, having finished second in the Arkle to Footpad.

The Seven Barrows handler said: “Brain Power works with him – he’s probably the only horse that could, they do everything together. He’s in very good form. In his own right, he’s a very good horse.

“I do think he’s in particularly good form, so he’ll do Cheltenham and Altior will wait for the Tingle Creek.

“Altior is ready to run, I could run him, but I just think it’s a long way ahead of us and he’ll be fresh and well for the Tingle Creek.”