Altior pro­duces his best to take Tin­gle thriller

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - RACING -

ALTIOR sur­vived a heavy down­pour and a de­ter­mined Un De Sceaux to ex­tend his win­ning streak to 15 in the Bet­fair Tin­gle Creek Chase at Sandown yes­ter­day. Nicky Hen­der­son’s star was un­proven on such test­ing ground and passed his tough­est test to date.

“He ran his heart out,” said Walsh of Un De Sceaux. “He jumped bril­liant, but I’ve never been a good loser and I’m not any bet­ter now.” With the ex­cep­tion of jump­ing too big at the open ditch early on, Altior’s fenc­ing was at its slick­est, al­though Un De Sceaux made him pull out all the stops.

When Altior got in slightly tight to the last it gave Walsh a chance to steal a length, but as he has done in the past, the 8-13 favourite pow­ered up the hill to win go­ing away. “That was spe­cial,” said Hen­der­son. “I think that was re­ally test­ing him to­day and, like Bu­veur D’Air last week, if he was go­ing to get beat it would have been to­day.

“When you have gen­uine cham­pi­onship horses it is great peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate them, but it does make you feel the pres­sure.

“We knew Ruby Walsh would set a gal­lop and he made it as tough as he could. But this is an amaz­ing horse and you couldn’t make it too tough for him. That is not his ground, but he is that good. He was fit, and he had to be, be­cause they were go­ing to test us, weren’t they?”

Win­ning jockey Nico De Boinville added: “That rain just be­fore­hand re­ally did open that ground up. We were get­ting drenched down at the start, but Ruby has gone out and made it a true cham­pi­onship pace.

“All credit to Un De Sceaux for keep­ing go­ing. That was some per­for­mance from him. That was a great per­for­mance, the gal­lop he went. He has been around a long time. It just seemed to set up the race nicely for us and we al­ways had that kick at the end.

“And when you reach a hill in that ground as well, he just seemed to go into over­drive there.”

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