By Geoffrey Riddle
Nico De Boinville has hailed Altior’s spectacular jumping at Newbury on Saturday.
Altior swept to his 12th consecutive win at the expense of Politologue in the Betfair Exchange Chase, was technically brilliant at each of the 13 fences in Berkshire.
It was the eight-year-old’s first run since April, and his ability to navigate his way around Newbury was particularly impressive considering he had schooled over just ten obstacles in Lamboirn since seeing off Special Tiara in the Celebration Chase.
Altior had not run due to a wind problem, which flared up on his first piece of work on turf in November.
“He is very efficient,” De Boinville told Racing UK on Sunday.
“Leading in to yesterday we only managed to give him one school over regulation fences so he has only jumped 10 fences since Sandown last April so he was very good.
“He doesn’t waste any time in the air. It is really only in the last furlong and a half that you feel that turbo kick in. Once he jumps the last he takes off that bit more and that is when his class really shines through.
“He seems to run to the line and almost through it.”
Timeform have allotted Altior's Newbury run a rating of 169+, which is 2lb below his career best of 171 at Sandown. There must surely be more to come but sponsors Betway were happy on Sunday to stick their heads above the parapet as the only firm to go an odds-against 11-10 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Altior is as short as 8-13 in places.
The firm have also opened up a market without the favourite and make Min, who was thrashed by seven lengths by Altior in the 2016 Supreme Novices' Hurdle, the 6-4 favourite ahead of his stablemates Douvan at 5-2 and Un De Sceaux at 3-1. Elsewhere Ladbrokes make Altior 2-1 to go unbeaten for the rest of the calendar year (must run thre times in total) and 9-4 to complete the Queen Mother double for 2018 and 2019.
Nicky Henderson reported Altior has come out of the race well.
"He is 100 per cent and he pulled out great this morning. It was very important yesterday and you have to say it could not have gone any more spectacular," said Henderson.Altior has now amassed £394,211 in prize-money for his 15 runs (PA)
"The whole thing impressed me yesterday. He relaxed, put his head down and jumped beautifully. Everything was good.
"I didn't dare to dream he would win as well as that. It is nice that he is still unbeaten.
"It's a shame that he has missed good races but if everything goes right, he has still got plenty of big races to go for.
"The wind wasn't a problem. If anything was going to test his wind it was that ground on Saturday. That was great and it (wind) was never going to be a worry.
"It is well done to the guys who did the operation, they did a very good job as we were able to get him back a little bit quicker from a full hobday operation to the racecourse.
"I can relax a bit more now we have got the run into him as there is no rush to give him a racecourse gallop. He doesn't need to go for a racecourse gallop now and I doubt if he will.
"The good thing is he does what he does at home on the racecourse and not many horses have his class."