Altior ends a fine season in style at Sandown
Champion Chase hero unbeaten in nine over fences after gutsy Celebration Chase win
Cheltenham Champion Chase hero Altior extended his unbeaten record over fences to nine with victory in the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown Park.
Nicky Henderson’s stable star was sent off the 2-11 favourite for the two-mile Grade One and while Nico de Boinville had to give him a slap of the whip after the last, he found plenty up the Sandown hill to win with ease.
San Benedeto, a 33-1 shot, finished second with Gods Own third, as Altior followed up his Cheltenham Festival success.
De Boinville told ITV Racing: “He was pretty workmanlike, I have to say. I think Cheltenham left its mark.
“We have come here, it’s soft ground now, the rain’s got in a bit and I think he found it hard enough work.
“This is the mark of great champions, they can pull it out of the bag when they are up against the ropes.
“All credit to him as he retains his unbeaten record over fences.”
Asked about the possibility of stepping up in trip next term, De Boinville feels it would not be the best decision.
He added: “Against Might Bite? I don’t see the point in stepping up to three miles when you’ve got an outstanding Champion Chaser.”