Altior set for Tingle Creek return at Sandown on Saturday

Tue 4 Dec 2018

Altior will face a maximum of nine rivals in Saturday’s Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

Nicky Henderson’s charge is unbeaten in 14 starts over jumps – a run that features three successive wins at the Cheltenham Festival, including the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March.

A well-publicised breathing problem ruled him out of the Tingle Creek and the first half of the last campaign.

However, he has top-class form at Sandown – having won the Celebration Chase in each of the last two seasons – and he is reported to be firing on all cylinders for his imminent return.

Altior has not run since winning the Celebration Chase at Sandown in April

The master of Seven Barrows said: "Altior is in very good form and we are looking forward to Saturday.

"We contemplated running in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham last month, but we were happy to wait for the Tingle Creek and he is in good order.

"We will look after him for the rest of the week and hope all goes well with him.

"It is shaping up to be a very good race, but we are delighted with him.

"With Buveur D'Air winning at Newcastle on Saturday, it was nice to get the show back on the road after Might Bite got beat at Haydock.

"We are looking forward to the race."

Un De Sceaux won the 2016 Tingle Creek and could bid to regain his crown for Willie Mullins.

The champion trainer has also entered the prolific Great Field and Min, while Henry de Bromhead’s veteran Special Tiara completes the potential Irish challenge.

Saint Calvados caused an upset when beating the Mullins-trained Footpad on his seasonal reappearance at Naas, and his trainer Harry Whittington has already stated his intention to have a crack at Altior this weekend.

Sceau Royal is an interesting contender for Alan King after return from a 10-month absence with an impressive victory in last month’s Shloer Chase at Cheltenham.

Kerry Lee’s Gino Trail, the Tom George-trained God’s Own and Speredek from Nigel Hawke’s yard are the other hopefuls.

Altior is a general 8-11 chance to make a winning return on Saturday.

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