Henderson confirms no Altior at Aintree
Nicky Henderson has confirmed his unbeaten star Altior will not run at Aintree in the Grand National meeting next week.
Altior was being lined up for the two-and-a-half mile Melling Chase in Liverpool next Friday but Henderson has now decided the 18-time winner will not travel.
The trainer says jockey Nico de Boinville informed him he felt the nine-year-old was still slightly jaded after winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham earlier this month, and it would be better to miss the Aintree meeting, with the Celebration Chase at Sandown in April now his more likely next appearance.
Henderson wrote in his Unibet blog: "He is absolutely fine and there is nothing to worry about but Nico had a couple of sits on him this week and jumped four fences yesterday, and I was very hopeful he'd be up to running in the Melling Chase.
"To the eye he looks awesome but Nico just believes he's still feeling the effects of Cheltenham. It a very similar scenario to last year, and we only have three weeks this time, but the horse tells us where he is and at the moment he's telling us that we need to sit this one out and go to Sandown for the Celebration Chase."
He added: "It's a shame because I was very keen to go to Aintree and step him up to 2m4f but it's no point running these horses if they are not on the top of their game."
Henderson also revealed Top Notch and Janika are set to compete in the Melling Chase. However, Santini will not go to Aintree and will not be given another outing this season.
Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.