ALTIOR is ready to rock in the Tingle Creek Chase next month after today’s run out at Newbury.
The 10-year-old superstar looked in good nick when running alongside Epatante with Nico de Boinville on board.
Altior suffered a horrible season last year but is looking to put his splint issues behind him.
And Nicky Henderson was delighted with what he saw and believes Tingle Creek is in sight.
He said: “He is good and is heading for the Tingle Creek. He loves his jumping. If you would have seen him on Thursday, it was terrifying. He just jumped fences.
“He looked quite dreamy out there today, but I had to use him as a pacemaker. He enjoyed himself, but he is better aiming at something. He is miles better when he is aiming at a fence.
“When you see him schooling, it’s frightening and you think you should be aiming at the King’s Stand not the Tingle Creek, he is so quick.
“Nico might enjoy it, but I certainly don’t. He is just brilliant, and that lights his fire.”
Altior won at Sandown in 2018 and will be hoping to challenge again.
And Henderson revealed that De Boinville liked what he saw today.
He added: "Nico was delighted with him. He's not a natural lead horse, but when you've got someone like Epatante, there's nothing else that can lead.
"They had to go together and both did it very nicely. He's got a week extra to prepare than Epatante, but as we know a week is a long time in racing and is another week for something to go wrong!
"It was exactly what they needed. This was more of an away-day rather than an actual gallop, but I did want them to do a fair bit. It's really to light the candle in them.
“They've done work at home and sometimes they get bored of that, so it's a day out, they enjoy it and a bit of competition and atmosphere comes into it."
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