Nicky Henderson eyeing Tingle Creek return for Altior

Fri 22 Sep 2017

Nicky Henderson has confirmed the Tingle Creek at Sandown as the likely comeback target for Altior and reports his brilliant chaser to be "extremely well physically" ahead of the upcoming campaign.

The seven-year-old carried all before him as a novice over fences last season, winning each of his six starts including victories in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham and the Celebration Chase at Sandown.

The Seven Barrows handler could not be happier with how his charge has summered and a return to Esher in December has been pencilled in for his seasonal reappearance.

Henderson said: "He has absolutely thrived and had a great summer where he ate way too much grass!

"What he did last season was phenomenal and if he can continue that we have so much to look forward to.

"I wouldn't say he's grown during his holidays, but he's more well-proportioned and looks extremely well physically.

"Touch wood, all is good with him at the moment and he's cantering away steadily each day, which he'll do for a while before we step him up a bit in the next month or so.

"The plan will be to start in the Tingle Creek at Sandown on December 8 and then we can feel our way after that.

"Obviously, the Queen Mother Champion Chase is the primary objective, so it's just a matter of finding the correct path into that and hoping everything goes right in between."

The seriously talented but slightly wayward Might Bite won four times over fences last season including a dramatic success in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham.

His primary target for the first half of this season is the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, the venue where he suffered a heavy final-fence fall in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase last Christmas.

"He looks absolutely fantastic, he really does," Henderson said in his Stan James blog.

"We are really thinking of the King George on Boxing Day as the race we are aiming at. It looks his ideal race if he can avoid doing what happened in the Feltham (Kauto Star)."

Jockey Club Racecourses on Thursday confirmed it would once again offer a £1million bonus for any horse who can win the Betfair Chase at Haydock, the King George and the Cheltenham Gold Cup this season and Henderson is tempted by a trip to Merseyside in November.

He said: "I suppose the whole point in putting on bonuses is to try to encourage owners and trainers to run their horses, so Haydock could enter the equation.

"Everyone is going to turn up there as it's the first leg but after that, there is only one horse left with a chance of winning the £1m so we might possibly have a look at that as a stepping stone to Kempton.

"I don't want to bully him though, as we've all seen what he's like near the end of a race.

"He has his quirks, there's no denying it, so we will certainly be looking after him, but it would be nice to see him up to Gold Cup class; that is what we will all be striving for."

Whisper, who was runner-up to Might Bite at Cheltenham and Aintree last spring, is set to be targeted at the Ladbrokes Gold Cup - formerly the Hennessy - at Newbury on December 2.

Henderson also confirmed his high-class mare Kotkikova as a possible runner in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on November 4.

Brain Power is set to spearhead a team of novice chasers that also includes River Wylde, Lough Derg Spirit, Stowaway Magic and Constantine Bay.

More Latest News

This video is playing in Picture-In-Picture. Click to Exit.
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.