Chasing great Altior stands down at age of 11

Nicky Henderson has retired the dual Queen Mother Champion Chase legend Altior. In a glittering career that yielded 21 victories from 26 starts, Altior won 10 Grade One races.

When discussing the best of the best, Altior is up there in the chase ranks and can now look forward to a happy retirement.

He won at the Cheltenham Festival four years in a row, with the Supreme Novices' Hurdle in 2016 and the Arkle Trophy in 2017 preceding his back-to-back triumphs in the Champion Chase in 2018 and 2019.

The jumping great went on an unbeaten 19-race run from October 2015 to April 2019, and amassed £1,320,795 in prize money throughout his career.

"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," Henderson told Unibet.

"His owners, Christopher and Pat Pugh feel that now he is 11, turning 12, 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 since Minty (David Minton) and I bought him at the Land Rover Sale as a three-year-old by the late High Chaparral.

"It's a very tough decision to make, but I am pretty sure he has enjoyed every moment of it as much as we all have."

Altior is going to spend his retirement with Mick Fitzgerald, a former stable jockey of Henderson's and now TV pundit.

Fitzgerald said: "It's an absolute honour to have a horse who has done as much as he has, and I've followed his career all the way through and am delighted that he is now going to be part of our family."

Jockey Nico De Boinville was almost always in the driving seat - and on the day Altior retired, he recalled his experience via Twitter.

He wrote: "We enjoyed some incredible days with Altior. Horses like him don't come along very often. I'm very thankful to Patricia and Christopher Pugh & the team at Seven Barrows. We are all wishing Altior a long and happy retirement."

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