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Nicky Henderson believes Altior still has 'old spark' after second-place finish in Celebration Chase at Sandown




Seven Barrows trainer Nicky Henderson admitted that ‘things are up for discussion’ regarding the plan for Altior next season.

The 11-year-old had to settle for second-place in the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown, finishing behind the Paul Nicholls-trained Greaneteen.

Nicky Henderson has never won this race as a trainer (46006830)
Nicky Henderson has never won this race as a trainer (46006830)

The dual Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, who was wearing cheekpieces for the first-time, bolted off at the start of the race.

However, Greaneteen – ridden by Bryony Frost – took over the lead in the closing stages before going on to win.

Speaking to ITV Racing after the race, Henderson said: “It’s a long time since he had a run and he probably got a bit tired in the end, but he did nothing wrong at all and he is full of the old spark anyway.”

When asked about next season and if he will return, the Seven Barrows handler said: “We will talk about it and I don’t see why not, but all things are up for discussion.

“I have to be pleased because it’s been the usual traumatic time because we were all ready for Cheltenham.

“It has been a fair old rush to get here [to Sandown], but we got here and it proves that he can still go a good old gallop and he jumps like he can.

“There is nowhere else to go know, so we will have a think about it all over the summer,” added Henderson.



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