History has proven the Festival to be a ruthless environment where only the toughest, most talented survive. This week will be no different. Some hotpots will enhance already lofty reputations while, for others, the bubble will burst. As ever, the challenge is what to trust and what to oppose, writesmakes his picks.
When it came, the explanation made perfect sense. “Altior doesn’t look like Altior,” Nicky Henderson said as he explained his decision to rule his stablestar out of the Grade Two Unibet Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton on Saturday, a race which was set to be his first start since surrendering his 19-race unbeaten record over obstacles when beaten by Cyrname in the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot in November.
Corky Browne left Carrigtwohill for a life in racing, working with legendary trainer Fred Winter, in England, before forging a glorious partnership with five-time champion trainer Nicky Henderson. Browne announced his retirement, at 77, last week, ending a 62-year association with the sport.
Oh, the up and downs, the highs and lows of national hunt racing. Yesterday had it all for me. It was amazing to win the first race on Klassical Dream and to watch Duc Des Genievres win the second – it was clear the horses were in great order.