Superstar Altior for the second time in three years has returned lame just a few days before his run at the Cheltenham festival in the Champion Chase where he is looking to land a hat-trick of wins in the Grade One.
Nicky Henderson revealed on Sunday that the four time Cheltenham festival winner faces a "battle against time" to be ready for what is set to be the race of the festival this year with not a lot to choose between the 10 year old, Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi at the top of the market.
(Credit Racing Post) Henderson said: "There's a problem with Altior. He is lame this morning and faces a battle against time to run in the Champion Chase.
"What's happened is an old splint that has never worried him before has consequently reared up. He's been on the water treadmill and cold water is great for that type of thing.
"We can't give him any medication because it's too close to the race, but there's a chance he could make it. We'll monitor the situation and see what he's like in the morning.
"We have 48-hour declarations, so we can see what he's like tomorrow and Tuesday, but we'll be working day and night to get rid of it by Wednesday.
"These things can improve massively so we'll just have to see. There's a chance, but I'm not going to speculate on how big. It's a very simple thing and will go away, it's just a case of when.
"Like I said, he's been on the water treadmill so has exercised and it's just sod's law that this has never troubled him but chose today to come to light."