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ALTIOR: Racing great and 2-time Champion Chaser retired by Seven Barrows

Festival hero Altior was retired by connections earlier this week



Cheltenham, UK. 14th March 2017. Altior ridden by Nico de Boinville wins the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase Grade 1 at Cheltenham-Cheltenham-Racecourse/Great Britain. Credit: dpa picture alliance/Alamy Live News

Modern two-mile legend and four-time Cheltenham Festival winner Altior has been retired by Nicky Henderson, it was announced on Monday afternoon.

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Winner of 21 of his 26 starts, the son of High Chaparral registered a remarkable 19-race unbeaten spell between 2015 and 2019, succeeding in 10 Grade One’s in the process both as a hurdler and chaser.


He was beaten only three times over obstacles, including in his final two appearances at Kempton and Sandown, respectively, with his final victory arriving in the 2020 Grade 2 Game Spirit at Newbury.

Altior’s final Cheltenham Festival win came in the 2019 Champion Chase

At Prestbury Park, he never tasted defeat in five attempts and leaves the sport as a Festival legend, clocking up a quartet of gold medals at National Hunt’s greatest meeting.

Writing in his Unibet blog, Lambourn handler Henderson said: “We are all sad to have to say that Altior is going into honorary retirement after what has been a fantastic innings which was obviously highlighted by his 19 consecutive victories.

Nicky Henderson reading a racecard at the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Altior has been a splendid servant for Henderson and Seven Barrows, earning a total of more than £1.25m in prize money

“His owners, Christopher and Pat Pugh feel that now he is eleven, turning twelve, they would like him to retire while still at his peak, fit, sound and healthy and ready for a new career.

“It has been a fantastic journey.

Horse Racing - 2013 Cheltenham Festival - Day Two - Cheltenham Racecourse
Henderson compares Altior to Sprinter Sacre, saying they were both “absolutely phenomenal”

“Jumping-wise, Altior was the same as Sprinter Sacre on that score; they were both absolutely phenomenal and I don’t think either of them ever made a mistake during a schooling session or on the track.

“All good things must come to an end and unfortunately that time has come. It is the end of a wonderful era we will never, ever want to forget.”

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.