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Altior to face eight in Queen Mother defence

Mon 11th Mar 2019, 11:53

© Photo Healy Racing

Altior will face eight rivals when he attempts to win back-to-back renewals of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday.

Nicky Henderson's majestic nine-year-old also stands just one short of the record for consecutive triumphs over jumps set by the mighty staying hurdler Big Buck's.

And having won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the Arkle Trophy and last year’s Champion Chase, Altior is on the brink of joining a select list of horses to have won at the meeting four times.

According to the bookmakers, the hot favourite’s biggest threat is the Willie Mullins-trained Min - who has finished second to Altior in the Supreme and in this race 12 months ago.

Min is the Irish champion trainer’s only runner, with Footpad and Un De Sceaux not declared. That pair look set to run in the Ryanair Chase on Thursday.

God’s Own, a regular in this race, lines up for the fourth time for Tom George at the age of 11.

George said: "This is his fifth successive appearance at the Festival.

"He's acting like he’s a four-year-old, not an 11-year-old - you're never short of enthusiasm with him.

"We couldn’t be happier with him."

Sceau Royal - who ran over hurdles last time out - will take his place for Alan King, with Politologue representing the in-form Paul Nicholls.

Henry de Bromhead's Ordinary World, Pat Fahy’s Castlegrace Paddy, the Harry Fry-trained Hell’s Kitchen and Saint Calvados from Harry Whittington’s yard complete the line-up.