Nicky Henderson drops a bombshell into the Cheltenham Festival build-up, as he announces that favourite Altior might not be fit for Wednesday's big race.
"Altior [2.5] is still the favourite, as bettors await further updates about his fitness, on Tuesday morning."
The Champion Chase betting could be about to go into overdrive after Nicky Henderson announced that long-time race favourite Altior might not be fit to run in big Wednesday's race.
At the time of writing, Altior [2.5] is still the favourite, as bettors wait for further updates. However, there has been market movement, since Henderon said today that the horse was "lame this morning in his near fore leg."
Henderson made the announcement on Twitter:
BREAKING NEWS ON ALTIOR & WE HAVE A DREAM pic.twitter.com/SewLygV0bX— Nicky Henderson (@sevenbarrows) March 12, 2018
Henderson hopeful star can run
Henderson's announcement sent shockwaves through the racing community. However, the trainer remains hopeful that his star runner will be able to take part in the race.
Henderson said: "Both our vet and farrier are working very hard and are more than hopeful that he will even be able to canter tomorrow and therefore confident he will be clear to race on Wednesday.
"Obviously we will monitor the situation and keep everybody up to date with his progress but there will be nothing more to say until tomorrow morning."
Until then, bettors will be left to speculate about whether it's time to look elsewhere in the market. Willie Mullins' Douvan [3.85] is the horse many bettors believe has the best chance of defeating Altior and Wednesday's race had been billed as a showdown between the pair, with the Irish trainer's Min ([4.7]) not written off either.