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National Hunt racing is now entering its key period with the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National in the coming weeks. This means many people are looking to bet Grand National 2019 as well as the Festival. One horse who is set to start the shortest price of the week, and who it would come as a major shock were he to fail to win, is Altior. He is a best-priced 4/9 at present as he looks to follow in the footsteps of the same stable's Sprinter Sacre, in becoming a dual winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Altior is a perfect 17 out of 17 over obstacles and has continued to remain the leading light of National Hunt racing for some time. The nine-year-old is trained by Nicky Henderson and is without a doubt going to head into the Festival as the star of his very strong team. He first really shot into the picture when running away with the 2016 edition of the Supreme Novices Hurdle, in what was his first of now three Festival successes. What makes this seven-length victory all the more impressive is the horses who finished behind, such as Min and of course Buveur D'Air. The latter is now a two-time winner of the Champion Hurdle, and is heading in as the favourite to win his third in a row.
Altior followed this up with six victories in a row the following season, including a workman-like victory in the Arkle. He briefly looked in trouble turning in but showed his powerful finishing kick to win by six lengths, and land the odds of 1/4. Following the end of the season, he underwent wind surgery that led to a lengthy 287 day break. A few people believed that we may now have seen the best of the horse, but he returned at the top of his game.
Altior extended his winning run with three further victories last season, that included a seven-length success in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. This also resulted in him being awarded his lifetime best RPR of 183. He again looked in trouble before flying up the run in, which we have now become accustomed to on many occasions. Altior has now put in three effortless victories this season, so now heads to the upcoming Festival impossible to oppose. All will now expect him to not only win, but put in a display that proves why he is the star of the National Hunt racing at present.
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