Grand National 2019: Altior to bypass Aintree once again in favour of Celebration Chase


ALTIOR is set to take on the Celebration Chase at Sandown rather than stepping up in trip in at Aintree.

The Champion Chase winner will stick to the tried and tested where he’ll likely take on star chaser Cyrname.

Altior came out best in a three-way tussle at Cheltenham
Altior (centre) came out best in a three-way tussle at Cheltenham
Getty Images – Getty

Writing on his Unibet blog, Nicky Henderson said: “One horse who will not be going to Liverpool is Altior.

“He is absolutely fine and there is nothing to worry about but Nico had a couple of sits on him this week and jumped four fences yesterday, and I was very hopeful he’d be up to running in the Melling Chase.

“To the eye he looks awesome but Nico just believes he’s still feeling the effects of Cheltenham.

“It a very similar scenario to last year, and we only have three weeks this time, but the horse tells us where he is and at the moment he’s telling us that we need to sit this one out and go to Sandown for the Celebration Chase.

“It’s a shame because I was very keen to go to Aintree and step him up to 2m4f but it’s no point running these horses if they are not on the top of their game so we’ll substitute him with Top Notch instead and we may even run Janika in the same race as well.”

Henderson also had an update on Santini, who won’t be seen again until next season.

Santini left) has been put away for the season
Santini (left) has been put away for the season
Getty Images – Getty

He added: “Santini is another who will not be heading to Liverpool as he is already on holiday and we have decided to put him away until next season.

“He’s perfectly well and healthy and more sound than he ever has been and I want to keep it that way so we’re going to put him away while he is safe and sound as I want to look after him.

“Mr Whipped is working very well and he will now represent us in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase.”



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