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Nicky Henderson confirms Altior will miss Cheltenham Festival for a second successive year

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The 11-year-old was due to line up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday

FOR a second successive year, trainer Nicky Henderson has confirmed that Altior will miss the Cheltenham Festival.

The Seven Barrows handler has announced today (Monday) that the 11-year-old won't line up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, which takes place on Wednesday.

It's the second time in as many years that Altior will miss the Champion Chase, having done so last season after he was 'lame' following a splint injury.

Previous to 2020, Altior had won back-to-back Champion Chase crowns at Cheltenham in 2018 and 2019.

Henderson released the news via a statement on Twitter which read: “We are very sorry that we have taken the decision not to run Altior in the Champion Chase on Wednesday.

“He coughed after exercise this morning, which caused us to scope him, and as a result of what we have seen it would not be sensible to run him.

“This is devastating news for all of us, and Pat and Christopher Pugh, in particular, in that this is the second year running that we have had to pull him out at the last minute.

“His work and schooling last week was as good as ever and we couldn't have been happier with his whole preparation. Not surprisingly, this is a bitter blow to us all and we are so sorry for everyone that he will not be there on Wednesday.”

The Festival kicks off tomorrow (Tuesday) with four days of high-quality racing and will conclude on Friday afternoon.

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