Cheltenham Festival

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15 Mar 18 07:13
Date Joined: 19 Mar 04
| Topic/replies: 10,793 | Blogger: buddeliea's blog
Had a think and come to the conclusion that this horse is as good a two miler i have ever seen.
To do what he did despite obvious dislike to conditions is something we seldom see.
Dont think i can recall ever writing a horse off during a Championship race,that has ever won a race by so much!!
Incredible performance.
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Report p_r_e_m_i_e_r__f_a_n_t_a_s_y March 15, 2018 8:35 AM GMT
I've thought the same for quite a while, I was a massive Moscow Flyer fan and his era had some great 2m chasers, then Sprinter Sacre was majestic as well but there is just something about Altior, the way he eats up that Cheltenham hill and hits the line is incredible. As you've said he looked to be absolutely hating the conditions yesterday and Nico was slightly niggling along from a very early stage but once he pulled him wide of them in the straight approaching the 2nd last there was only 1 result. He was still slightly behind Min landing over the last and then puts 7L between them to the line. The horse is just top class.
Report eric_morris March 15, 2018 9:42 AM GMT
Altior is much more adaptable he can be ridden as you want and you know that turn of foot is to come. Can hardly speak today after a shout off with Douvan and Min fans in the stands up the straight ha ha. Great bonus the 6/4 other day on here after the scare to go with the multiples
Report eric_morris March 15, 2018 9:43 AM GMT
Badsworth Boy may have a challenger for all time great in a few years time
Report Ibrahima Sonko March 15, 2018 11:08 AM GMT
His turn of foot is dancing brave over the jumps, they need to try him on the flat.

Still think Sprinter Sacre would out jump him.
Report firstimevisor March 15, 2018 11:53 AM GMT
He's a superb horse no doubt about it. But I wouldn't factor the ground into his performance - that dead ground is'nt ideal for any horse but its the same for them all.If you look back at Altior's history he usually looks beaten at some point in all his races - he lacks early pace - but then his stamina kicks in and he can find another gear late on. He could win a Gold Cup if they  ever went that route.

Such a pity Douvan fell. That's not saying he'd have won but a fully race fit Douvan is probably a fair shake better than Min. Altior has now beaten Min by 7 lengths twice(hurdles and fences) so there may not be a whole lot between these 2 exceptional horses.
Report ReaseHeath March 15, 2018 2:40 PM GMT
Gold Cup was on my mind for Altior yesterday too - Presenting Percy and Samcro were (quite rightly) touted as future Gold Cup horses yesterday but no mention of Altior - Henderson would probably say there's no need to step him up in trip whilst he's so dominant at 2 miles but would be good to see him tested - if he's not going to Punchestown to take on Douvan again then I'd like to see them run him in the Betfair Bowl over 3 miles or at least the Melling Chase if they want to go over the intermediate trip first.

A three runner race against Special Tiara and Cap'N at Sandown would just be a non event really...
Report duffy March 15, 2018 3:03 PM GMT
He's a brilliant horse but if Sprinter was running in that race then Altior wouldn't have won because as he was struggling, a fluent Sprinter would have put him into more trouble and Altiors struggles would have been accentuated, Sprinter would have stretched him to breaking point IMO.
Report duffy March 15, 2018 3:09 PM GMT
Much the same as "if" Douvan was back to his best, he was just at the point where he'd have started to stretch an in trouble Altior, he'd have then had to work harder to stay in touch, all that would have taken away from the final kick, he got away with it because although he was struggling, the field didn't go away from him and he had reserves.

He'd have had to use a lot of that up earlier "if" Douvan was able to do his stuff.
Report unclepuncle March 15, 2018 3:32 PM GMT
No way he ever goes for a Gold Cup and doubtful the KG would even be on the agenda (stable have Might Bite after all).

The 2m4f race at Aintree is tailor made for him but he may have had too hard a race yesterday for them to consider it.
Report duffy March 15, 2018 3:42 PM GMT
Hendo said why move him up...and to be honest...why move him up?Grin He's a budding superstar, if not already over 2 miles.
Report buddeliea March 15, 2018 5:53 PM GMT
Already a superstar,that performance yesterday on a glue pot proved that to me.
God knows what kind of performance he will produce when conditions are in his favour.
Report impossible123 March 15, 2018 6:15 PM GMT
The Gold Cup is a step too far in terms of distance; the Ryanair is a non-event only the O'Learys' would like to win and finally achieved that after 15 years today. The Champion Hurdle is a different stay where he is and win as many Champion Chases he can, I believe.
Report the bloob March 15, 2018 9:58 PM GMT
something like the King George may be tempting, but if it isn't broke don't fix it, just try and win a couple more QMs
Report BornToWin March 15, 2018 10:52 PM GMT
I thought after his Supreme he was a future Gold Cup winner, but why risk it when you can mop up Champion Chases. A setback (albeit minor) and less than ideal conditions but still runs away from them.

I think he hits a flat spot (or 2) on bad ground like his old Daddy, but when the turbo kicks in it is goodnight.
Report buddeliea April 7, 2018 5:25 AM BST
Best chaser in training for me.
I was told at the open day that he would be going to Sandown for the celebration chase over 2m.
Now i hear he may be stepping up in distance for the melling chase at Aintree!!
Whatever distances hes comfortable with he will be fine,i just hope hes not asked to go further than he would like.
Report impossible123 April 7, 2018 10:21 AM BST
I think he'll win anything from 2m to 2.5m on any discipline eg Champion Hurdle to Ryanair; the Gold cup could be a couple of furlongs too far, I think.
Report GAZO April 7, 2018 1:25 PM BST
only really the trainers could tell you who is the best but the henderson stable seemed more bullish with the things they said about sprinter sacre and they have had at least three champions in sprinter sacre,altior and remmittance man
Report impossible123 April 7, 2018 2:02 PM BST
He is 4/6 with bookies but 3.05 here for £16 from £36,...layer with inside info?
Report foxy April 9, 2018 10:39 AM BST
altior cheltenhan and sandown against sprinter sacre cheltenham aintree and punchestown.

i think most know which of these two at there best would win.
Report duffy April 9, 2018 2:38 PM BST
Altior is a brilliant horse no question but he was allowed to be able to do what he did at Cheltenham because whilst he was struggling there was nothing in the race capable of capitalizing on it. A SS  in the race would have been away and gone whilst Altior was struggling which in turn would have had Altior in more bother, the race would have been over before/if Altior picked up.

That scenario may have played out if Douvan had remained in the race.
Report buddeliea April 9, 2018 9:05 PM BST
Not sure about SS,but I  confident that Altior is a better horse than Douvan ever was
Report buddeliea April 9, 2018 9:05 PM BST
Not sure about SS,but I  confident that Altior is a better horse than Douvan ever was
Report buddeliea April 10, 2018 7:53 AM BST
I can see this descending into a thread debating/arguing about who is the best etc etc.
That was not my intention when starting this thread so I will take back my last comment re Douvan.
I am not one for all that as it usually involves having pops at top horses that don't deserve that.

Really I was just saying, that to do what Altior did despite obvious dislike to conditions,was something we don't see that often, and to win like he did was very impressive.
Yes its possible Sprinter or Douvan could have won that race,and they may have enjoyed conditions better than Altior. Its also possible that the way Altior ran up that hill at the end he could have beaten any horse......we simply can never know.

My gut feeling is Altior is a special talent,and will hopefully stay injury free and go on to prove hes one of the best we have ever seen. I think he is now but I do recognise he will need to do more to convince others, and I also recognise at this moment it can only be an opinion.
Report impossible123 April 10, 2018 9:47 AM BST
I think it is indisputable and generally accepted by most, if not all, Altior is an exceptional horse the way he got himself together to win convincingly from a seemingly hopeless position in his Champion Chase triumph; the ground, no doubt, played a significant part even though he'd displayed this trait in most of his previous races before winning easily.

Whether horses like Sprinter Sacre and/or Douvan would have taken advantage of this "quirk" of his is debatable especially the latter who I think had been shielded and protected by connections in every race than he'd won eg beating non-entities, and a 3 miler ie Sizing John over 2m is no concrete yardstick to Douvan credential despite winning the Arkle and Champion Chase too; Douvan did not contest a Tingle Creek where the likes of Sprinter Sacre and/or Sire de Grudgy were in contention.

Fwiw, and personally, I'd have Altior before Douvan, the former would have easily won the Champion Hurdle given the achievements of Buveur D'air the horse he easily beat in the Supreme; Douvan won the Supreme too beating Shaneshill a horse that had been campaigned over 20f+ since, and definitely no Buveur D'air or Min, the horses that Altior beat convincingly in the Supreme.

But I think Sprinter Sacre was a beast; he could quicken off any pace and ran away from his competitors without breaking sweat at the business end; he also won another Champion Chase after a very long lay-off because of his dodgy heart.

For me Sprinter Sacre was the best; (2nd) Altior; a distant (3rd) Douvan.
Report irishone April 10, 2018 9:48 AM BST
hope you are right budd
Report Desmond Orchard April 10, 2018 12:50 PM BST
Spot on Budd.
It's inevitable people will have their favourites, but comparing horses from different eras is futile, just enjoy the champions we have - especially when you have one as special as Altior.
Report duffy April 10, 2018 2:16 PM BST
Comparing "athletes" from different eras is natural, it happens in all sports, buds initial assertion was a very strong one indeed I thought.

Altior has huge competition if budd can go back 30/40 years. He certainly wouldn't be in my top 3 at this stage although he may do in time, again I'd reiterate that he was able to stay in the race because there was nothing there to make the most of it and he was able to find his way back into it in his own time, if he was able to rally after something had really been pressing on and putting him under even more pressure then it would have had even greater merit.
Report duffy April 10, 2018 2:22 PM BST
I'm more guilty than most I admit at not giving horses enough credit for just being champions and repeatedly point to the opposition as a means of grading them, but if you want to acknowledge a horse as the best you've seen then you simply must look at the opposition to reach that opinion...Altior isn't there yet.

He'd have to smash up and I mean smash up the likes of Footpad just for starters next season just to get into the argument.

Altior is a very good horse and could be great but for me I couldn't possibly say he's there yet.
Report buddeliea April 11, 2018 7:48 AM BST
Yeh, fair comments Duffy.
I probably got a tad carried away with my opening post.
I was just so impressed with a horse winning in that way, seeming not to be enjoying conditions. Made me think what he could be capable of when all is right for him.
I do have this feeling though that hes right up there,or at least will be.
But I do go as far back as Badsworth Boy, who is probably the Daddy of them all......although Sprinter may have something to say about that!!
Report GAZO April 11, 2018 8:26 AM BST
why do you say he was not enjoying the conditions,he ran pretty much the same as he did in the arkle starting to get niggled along coming down the hill,just think his stamina kicks in going up the hill and he leaves them standing,if he was mine i would definately try him over longer.
Report foxy April 11, 2018 11:34 AM BST
i never saw crisp [other than 73 national] or flyingbolt but have seen the rest altior would fall into a category with azertyuiop,well chief,pearlyman,master minded and remittance man,you would then have moscow flyer and badsworth boy and on top of the pile without question would be sprinter sacre.
Report foxy April 11, 2018 11:52 AM BST
anyway thats mostly in the past the future as in the opening day of aintree what a disappointing card.
Report buddeliea April 11, 2018 12:26 PM BST
I think hes a better horse on better ground and I put his struggling during the race down to the ground.
He wins on all surfaces because hes a class act, and a fair way in front of his rivals at 2miles, but better ground will imo see him at his best.
I take your point about trying further though,and his trainer has said hes looking forward to that,so what you say could well make sense,and yes his Arkle run was fairly similar.

I do recognise I could be wrong about the horse.
Report duffy April 11, 2018 2:42 PM BST
Viking Flagship deserves his place in the list for sureHappy
Report foxy April 11, 2018 3:25 PM BST
I know what you mean Duffy as probably does one man there all good but you have to leave some out if all fairness Dessie wasn’t a bad 2 miler just better over further.
Report duffy April 11, 2018 4:42 PM BST
I think Martha's Son would have found its way into my list if it hadn't had a lot of time off.
Report buddeliea December 28, 2018 7:55 AM GMT
And so it continues.
Not the best opposition admittedly, but what an exhibition of 2m good as it gets for me.
Report buddeliea January 15, 2019 5:13 PM GMT
Only 3 up against him Ascot on Saturday,thats if they all turn up!!
I hope we don't have a really small field in March.
Report buddeliea January 17, 2019 5:15 PM GMT
Un De Sceaux non runner Saturday
3 left
Report impossible123 January 17, 2019 5:45 PM GMT
Shame not even a runner from Mullins or the other Irish trainers with charges like Min, Footpad, Un De Sceaux, Simply Ned and Gods Own - a clear sign the Dublin Festival has been given top priority. And as expected no Waiting Patiently either despite similar ground to Kempton; prize money £150k.
Report impossible123 January 17, 2019 8:30 PM GMT
I wonder which tipsters will nap him on saturday; 12 did when Laurina beat her only challenger last saturday.
Report duffy January 18, 2019 2:26 AM GMT
Get it back to being a handicap, used to be a great race this.
Report irishone January 19, 2019 9:16 AM GMT
Spoke to a few stable lads about altior.
Even ruby takes a sharp intake of breath before he talks about altior.
Willie is scared of him .
Pure class .
Report duffy January 19, 2019 3:41 PM GMT
Might be something niggling him going out to the left there.
Report ImSoLuckyLucky! January 19, 2019 3:57 PM GMT
Suggests his right hand legs are sore!!!

Report buddeliea January 19, 2019 5:50 PM GMT
Henderson said: "Jumping left-handed is the sort of thing you see horses do around here. That was great, he's had a nice time, jumped well and done his own thing out in front.
"I think he was probably just idling out in front. Yes, he did drift to his left a couple of times, but it's not his natural trait to do that and it'll be left-handed next time anyway!"
De Boinville added: "It was the first time he's made the running for a long time and he was just having a look around. He could have done with a lead. There was no point getting stuck in behind anything, though. 
"It's great he's built up such a nice sequence, he's a great horse and he can have a nice break now as we freshen him up for Cheltenham."

Don't sound like they are too concerned.
Report ben96 March 16, 2019 10:42 PM GMT
What's poeple opinion on where this beast turns up next year? Do people see him ending up in the gold cup? If they go King George which looks likely given he is getting older and maybe needing a step in trip and he wins that will the gold cup be too tempting an opportunity to turn down? He would have the chance to confirm the horse as one of the best ever horses in national hunt game. Given the horses freakish ability and will to win you wouldn't rule it out.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan March 17, 2019 1:12 AM GMT
Lydia Hislop - "Your wondering whether he (Altior) might be suggesting its time to go up-in-trip potentially ?" Nico de Boinville replied "I'm not going to say that, I'll leave that to the 'governor', but ah, but I think the owners might want to give it a go at some stage". Hendo also mentioned that they would sit down during the summer and discuss a plan (so utterly useless to speculate in the meantime - Hendo's other superstar Sprinter Sacre almost exclusively stuck with the 2mile trip) Devil

EIGHTEEN straight wins & landed a second consecutive Champion Chase; emulating the record previously set by Big Bucks!
Report buddeliea March 17, 2019 7:45 AM GMT
The way the trainer has talked lately,i think it highly likely he will step up in distance.
Whether that is Aintree this season, or a run somewhere next season, is the question mark.

Looking at the way he runs it looks to me he will be fine going further.....but how much further before his effectiveness in winning races starts to wain,thats the bit they have to get right.
I suspect he will step up to 2 and a half at first,then the possibilty of the big 3m chases will be discussed,or not!! depending on their conclusions.
He is in  a top yard,probably the best he could be, with  a trainer that obviously cares a huge amount about him.
So he should be running in the right races for him and his ability.
Exciting times!!!
Report Catch Me ifyoucan March 17, 2019 11:29 AM GMT
Hendo also mentioned that they would sit down during the summer and discuss a plan (so utterly useless to speculate in the meantime) Devil
Report ReaseHeath March 17, 2019 12:34 PM GMT
I'm going to speculate!

From a stable perspective, it looks increasingly as if Might Bite's best days are behind him and it's hard to see him winning another King George.

Santini did n't look like 3 miles around Kempton particularly played to his strengths in the Feltham (Kauto Star) - although in fairness he was beaten by two very good horses.It's possible his interrupted preparation contributed to him not quite being able to reverse the placings with Topofthegame in the RSA - you can see why they think he's a future Gold Cup horse.

I think, all being well, Altior will run in the King George and then revert to 2 miles at the festival in an attempt to win a third Champion Chase.As well as Politologue and Sceau Royal ran it is hard to see them reversing the places (particularly on better ground) - though Sceau Royal is only in his second season chasing and had a truncated season last year so he could still have improvement in him.For me, the Arkle did n't really produce a horse who might be a threat to Altior (with respect to the winner who looked like he thrived in the conditions). Footpad could still conceivably challenge Altior's dominance over 2 miles but it's starting to look a long road back for him.

So King George then Champion Chase for me. Happy
Report Govan Spoonful March 17, 2019 7:00 PM GMT
Whether or not you think Altior will run in next year's Gold Cup, surely Unibet's odds of 20/1 are way too big not to tempt an each-way bet for a small stake as I have placed. The horse owes me nothing, having won for me at four festivals now. While I'm on the subject, have any Forumites been paid festival winnings from BetBright? Some of my Altior money was bet at 11/8 with the firm which did in the end say they would honour Cheltenham bets but I see no movement yet.
Report impossible123 March 17, 2019 7:31 PM GMT
I think as connections were seriously considering the King George last year (alluded to by Hendo possibly after the dismal performance of Might Bite at Haydock) this would probably be on the agenda this season (4/1 fav with most bookies). If winning well eg winning going away, and not in the mode of Vautour ie 2l advantage at the last and chinned who's to say the Blue Riband race at the Festival will not be on the agenda.

Still a shame he ain't going for the Melling Chase next month at Aintree given the race over 20f could be an eye-opener regards his possible stamina limitation.
Report irishone March 17, 2019 7:42 PM GMT
....says the man who does not know what grade 1 form is
Report ben96 March 17, 2019 8:44 PM GMT
Has it been confirmed he doesn't go to Aintree? I would imagine if Henderson had any chance of pegging Nicholls back in the trainers championship it would require Altior to run at Aintree and Sandown. However I get the impression Nicky doesnt want it as much as Nicholls who is usually prepared to run his whole stable to makes sure he wins it.
Report impossible123 March 17, 2019 9:14 PM GMT
He was 4/7 for the Melling prior to the Festival, but he did have a hard race in the Champion Chase hence the rethink, I believe.
Report Govan Spoonful March 18, 2019 2:50 PM GMT
It's been a while since Ireland had a population of 4 million. We're above 6.6m now.
Report impossible123 March 22, 2019 7:43 PM GMT
Hendo is leaning towards the Melling Chase at Aintree. He said: "Altior has come out of the Champion Chase well, better than last year for sure, so I'd quite like to go to Aintree for the Melling Chase, but I'd need to speak to the owners this weekend before we make any final decision."

It makes perfect sense to step him up in trip to 20f 1st if the King George (24f) is the main target for this year; he's 8/11 from 4/1.
Report ben96 March 24, 2019 8:35 PM GMT
Be interesting to see how they route his campaign next season if he wins well at Aintree. I would love to see him start in the Charlie Hall if there was decent ground there are not too many 2 and a half mile options available.
Report impossible123 March 25, 2019 9:29 AM GMT
Will he be given the going ahead this week for the Melling Chase? The market is indicating more likely (8/13) given his well-being and his probable main target this X'mas. If so, could he go Charlie Hall (3m) or straight to the King George? He certainly will not go the Betfair Chase, I'd think, even though £1m bonus could be tempting.
Report impossible123 March 25, 2019 5:20 PM GMT
Would the possibility of Cyrname running in the Melling Chase give Hendo and connections an added impetus to go for it, and kill two birds with one stone in the process ie rubbishing the superior rating of Cyrname above Altior plus indicating the chances of the latter's participation in the King George Chase? I hope so regardless of who else are running.
Report irishone March 26, 2019 8:06 PM GMT
Why dont you give him a call and ask him ?
Report buddeliea March 30, 2019 6:05 AM GMT
Altior not ready for Aintree.
Runs next in the celebration chase at sandown.
Nice day out to see the superstar,look forward to that.
Report impossible123 March 30, 2019 5:54 PM GMT
I think it was the correct decision not running here and waiting for the Celebration Chase at Sandown a few weeks later - Altior did have a hard race in the Champion Chase, I believe.

Looking forward to the King George, and possibly the Gold Cup (personally I've grave doubts) or Champion Chase (again) in 2020, all being well.
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