Sandown bet365 Celebration Chase: Altior set to create history with 19th consecutive win


Altior’s jockey Nico de Boinville celebrates after winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. (Pic: Courtesy of Jockey Club Racecourses).

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ALTIOR will break the record for the most consecutive wins over obstacles by winning the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown on Saturday.

The nine-year-old secured his eighteenth straight win over jumps when winning the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March to equal the record number of consecutive wins held by Big Buck’s.

The Cheltenham victory was the Nicky Henderson-trained Altior’s fourth consecutive win at the Festival following wins in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2016), Racing Post Arkle Trophy Novices’ Chase (2017) and Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (2018).

The son of the 2002 Epsom Derby winner High Chaparral faces a maximum of five rivals and is reported to be in good shape following his tenacious victory in the Queen Mother; where he was headed at the last fence but rallied in the closing stages to score by one and three-quarters of a length to propel himself to the brink a new record.

Henderson said: “Altior didn’t quite bounce back from Cheltenham, a bit like last year. Nico [de Boinville] said he felt a little bit flat when he sat on him before Aintree. But certainly in the last ten days he has shown he is recovered and ready,” the trainer said to the Racing Post ahead of his stable star’s bid to win the Celebration Chase for the third time.

The current record for consecutive wins over jumps was set in 2012 when the Paul Nicholls-trained Big Buck’s broke the record set by Sir Ken some 60 years earlier.

Nicholls will be on hand for the last day of the jumps season at Sandown on Saturday, where he will be recognised as the champion national hunt trainer for the 11th time.

Jockey Richard Johnson will also be on the podium to be crowned champion National Hunt jockey for the fourth time.

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