Al­tior to hit tar­get

Sunderland Echo - - Sport -

It is dif­fi­cult to look be­yond Al­tior in the Bet­fair Tin­gle Creek Chase at Sandown.

While he was de­nied the chance to run in this race last year due to a set­back, ev­ery­thing has gone to plan for Nicky Hen­der­son’s charge this time around.

That should spell bad news for his ri­vals as, even though the time to catch him might be first time out, he was at his bril­liant best in the Game Spirit last year af­ter an even longer lay off.

That day he dis­missed the top-class Poli­to­logue as if he were a mere hand­i­cap­per, and the only hope his ri­vals may have is that he briefly looked in trou­ble in the Cham­pion Chase.

Turn­ing into the straight Nico De Boinville was send­ing out dis­tress sig­nals, but af­ter the turbo kicked in, he even­tu­ally won by seven lengths.

The last time we saw him was over this course and dis­tance in the Cel­e­bra­tion Chase in April, when his strong­est fur­long was again the last.

That has led some to raise the pos­si­bil­ity of a King Ge­orge bid, but while he is mop­ping up Grade Ones over this trip, con­nec­tions will be happy.

An­other short-priced run­ner who looks im­pos­si­ble to op­pose is Lalor in the ran­dox­ Henry VIII Novices’ Chase. A Grade One win­ner over hur­dles, all his best form had pre­vi­ously been in the spring, but he made a sparkling win­ning chas­ing de­but at Chel­tenham.

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