Nicky Henderson provides Altior update following colic scare

Altior is set to return to his retirement home with former jockey Mick Fitzgerald on Friday after making huge strides in his recovery from a serious bout of colic.

Nicky Henderson announced last week that his former two-mile stable star had to undergo two operations - including a four-hour surgery - due to the issue, and the trainer admitted he had been concerned Altior might not recover. 

A true jump racing great, Altior won 19 races in a row for Henderson, including the 2018 and 2019 Champion Chase, on his way to becoming the highest-rated horse in training, with a peak mark of 175.

He was retired in 2021 aged 11, bowing out having won 21 of his 26 career starts, including 10 Grade One races and four victories at the Cheltenham Festival.

Altior has since spent his retirement with Fitzgerald and he is set to return to his Lambourn home to continue recuperating.

Henderson told his Unibet blog: "We have some news with regards to Altior and I'm delighted to say that it is 'good' news, as he appears to have come out of the other side and seems to be over the worse of his severe bout of colic.

"It's been a long, slow process and I must admit we were all extremely worried at one time, and very concerned that he mightn't pull through, but thankfully, due to the excellent work from everyone at Donnington Grove, especially Kate McGovern, Rosie and the whole team who stayed with him on a 24-hour watch, it looks as though Altior will be able to return home to the Fitzgerald family tomorrow, which is obviously fantastic news for him and all of us.

"He's had a great week and things have gradually improved, which meant he was able to go onto solid foods a couple of days ago. He has taken that well and everything seems to be working, so we hope he is on the road to recovery.

"There have still been a few nervous moments, but he was getting brighter and brighter as the days went on, and it has been amazing how far he has come.

"It's very rare for any horse to survive what Altior has gone through, and I'd go as far to say that this was as deep as you could go, and his chances were not very promising at all, but as we've all said before, he must be a very tough and brave person to overcome what he has.

"He was a fighter on the racecourse and is most definitely a fighter off it as well!"

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