Nicky Henderson is hoping there will not be any last-minute drama and that Altior can show he isn’t behind on his candidacy for a fourth win within the bet365 Celebration Chase.
It has been a irritating season for the as soon as unbeatable Seven Barrows famous person, with a mix of things limiting him to only one aggressive look.
The 11-year-old missed a scheduled outing in Tingle Creek in Sandown in early December attributable to unsuitable floor circumstances – and when he lastly returned to the Desert Orchid Chase in Kempton just a few weeks later he was crushed behind Nube . Negra.
Henderson was optimistic a couple of considerably improved efficiency within the Queen Mother Champion Chase final month, however for the second season in a row Altior missed a hat-trick provide from Queen Mother Champion Chase following a late setback.
With cheekbones adjusted for the primary time, hopes are excessive. Altior can silence skeptics on the final day of the marketing campaign.
“I’m delighted to say that everything has gone really well leading up to this race and barring any accidents over the next 24 hours he’s going at the top of his game and in flying form,” Henderson advised Unibet .
“He hasn’t raced on floor like this shortly, however we labored him on our grass gallop throughout the week with just a few main horses and he completely bounced off the floor so he did not. must be no excuse for this. .
“Obviously, Put The Kettle On is a really proficient mare and Royal Seal can also be an enormous hazard, however we’re all proud of Altior and the cheekbones might assist. It’s nice to get it again on observe! “
Put The Kettle On grew to become the primary mare to win the Champion Chase at Cheltenham – her second Festival success after her victory at Arkle 12 months earlier.
Coach Henry de Bromhead, who additionally saddles Ornua, desires to know if Put The Kettle might be as efficient in Sandown as it’s in Prestbury Park.
He mentioned, “She’s unreal, she’s wild doing what she did in pursuit of the champion, it was superb. She loves it in Cheltenham.
“I do not know if it is the journey, Aidan Coleman or no matter – this week will inform if it is simply Cheltenham, however we will progressively restrict ourselves to what drives her there. “
Paul Nicholls unleashes a double assault, with Champion Chase fourth Greaneteen joined by Dolos, a course and distance successful stablemate.
“Greaneteen ran really well in the Champion Chase and surprised a lot of people. He was second in Tingle Creek here and we saved him for this race, ”mentioned the Ditcheat supervisor.
“It’s an open race, I feel. Altior has a bit to show possibly over two miles, however he likes it there, and the one to beat is the Champion Chase winner.
“Dolos completely loves Sandown and the quick pitch. That’s an enormous value for a horse with its odds and observe file. “
Alan King’s Royal Seal endured a troublesome race en path to ending fifth in pursuit of the champion.
“It looks like a hell of a race, but our horse is in great shape,” King mentioned.
“We did not stand an opportunity within the Queen Mother, however he got here out in good order and should not care in regards to the pitch, I do not suppose so.
“Hopefully he’ll run very effectively. “
On the day he was topped Conditional Jockey Champion, Danny McMenamin bid for freshman glory aboard Ann Hamilton’s Nuts Well.
Winner of the Old Roan Chase at Aintree within the fall, the 10-year-old returned to the Merseyside web site to complete second behind Irish challenger Fakir d’Oudairies within the Marsh Chase just a few weeks in the past.
Of Nuts Well’s hopes this weekend, McMenamin mentioned: “He’s in opposition to it, however I hope he can have a very good race. I’m positive he will not disappoint anybody.
“He’s just a little man and really straightforward to assemble. He’s been climbing the ranks quietly and I feel folks typically underestimate him a bit.
“It’s not a shock to me when he has a very good race in opposition to the large boys. “
McMenamin’s choice to focus on the Conditional Runners’ Championship paid off a pleasant dividend, as he clinched a snug victory over Bryan Carver.
He mentioned: “It hasn’t fairly sunk but. It has been a superb season. The first two seasons had been sluggish and regular, simply attempting to achieve expertise. on the finish.
“I had that in thoughts (being conditional champion) at first of the season, however I knew it would not be straightforward. I mentioned I might attempt to not get too indignant if it did not occur. Fortunately sufficient, it labored effectively. ”
The 20-year-old hails from Downpatrick, like Grand National-winning runner Tony Dobbin, and follows within the footsteps of Sir Anthony McCoy and Brian Hughes, who’re additionally from Northern Ireland and gained the conditional competitors.
McMenamin added: “It’s a bit surreal to be talked about alongside the earlier winners.
“My mother and Tony Dobbin are nice buddies and the entire city was speaking about Tony Dobbin successful the National and his profitable profession over time.
“He’s somebody I admired and he helped me make the choice to return (to Britain) and provides it a strive. He was an amazing position mannequin.
“AP McCoy is the perfect of all and Brian Hughes is the perfect of the north. He was champion jockey final 12 months and was there for it this 12 months. It’s nice to have names like that coming from Northern Ireland and coming right here and doing effectively. ”
While McMenamin is thrilled to win the award, he paid tribute to his dad and mom who labored as caregivers all through the pandemic.
He mentioned: “Mom and Dad each work in a nursing dwelling taking care of the aged, in order that they’ve labored laborious this 12 months – they’ve in all probability labored tougher than me, to be sincere.
“They have labored day by day for the reason that inception of Covid – they deserve the credit score this 12 months. “