IT COULD BE AN ALTI-BORE
DRYING ground could see Altior go off at the shortest price of his career if his only serious rival, Un De Sceaux, misses Saturday’s Clarence House Chase.
At present the unbeaten Nicky Henderson-trained chasing superstar is a 1-4 shot to extend his winning run to 17 at Ascot, but 1-10 could be the call if Willie Mullins decides to keep Un De Sceaux at home.
Yesterday clerk of the course Chris Stickels said veteran weatherman John Kettley was predicting rain would hit the Royal heath on Friday and Saturday. And Mullins (below) voiced a preference for softer terrain for his stable stalwart who will be attempting a fourth straight victory in the race if getting the green light to run.
“We have to see what the weather is like. At the moment he’s in, and we are working as if we are running there, but it’s a concern.
“I’m very pleased with him but were just keeping an eye on the weather forecast.”
But Henderson has no worries over conditions for Altior, four lengths too strong for Un De Sceaux in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park in December and an effortless winner of Kempton Park’s Desert Orchid Chase over Christmas.
“We love good ground — like it was at Kempton,” said Henderson yesterday. “He was foot perfect.
“He worked yesterday with Brain Power, who is going to Haydock, and everything is good.”