Sandown: Altior hits the heights again in Henry VIII

Altior: now as short as 6-4 favourite for the Racing Post Arkle

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Altior hits the heights again in Henry VIII By David Baxter 2:03PM 3 DEC 2016

Report: Sandown, Saturday

Racing Post Henry VIII Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 1m7f119y, 4yo+

ALTIOR continued his education over fences with a largely fluent performance, seeing off Charbel after the last for an ultimately straightforward win.

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Last season's Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner, Altior is considered the one to beat for the Racing Post Arkle, and he is now as short as 6-4 favourite for the Cheltenham Festival race.

Having tracked the leaders Charbel and Marracudja, Noel Fehily stalked the pair before delivering a devastating turn of foot at the end of the race.

The winning jockey said: "I spent so much time trying to switch him off, maybe he went a little bit cold on me but once I switched him back on he was very impressive in the second half of the race."

Altior certainly warmed to his task, as he launched himself at a couple of fences early on, but there were no mistakes when tackling Sandown's infamous railway fences.

Charbel was a dogged foe, but he was not as slick as Altior, and ran down the last when Fehily was poised to strike. Even a flying leap would have likely not been enough to hold off the winner, as he breezed clear by six lengths.

Trainer Nicky Henderson said: "He's very classy with lots of gears. He has serious pace. He would still be a Champion Hurdle horse if he wanted to."

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