Altior is ready for the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at Sandown on Saturday after now fully recovering from his 18th straight win in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
If he is to land a record breaking 19th straight win over obstacles he might have to do it in his toughest contest to date as the Paul Nicholls trained Cyrname has also been included in the 12 runners.
Altior and Cyrname are the two highest rated horses across Britain and Ireland and according to both Nicky Henderson and Nicholls, if the ground conditions are suitable the two superstars will go to battle.
The ground predicted on Saturday at Sandown is set to be Good which we think would be enough to see the two highest rated horses face off for the first time in their careers.
Henderson does not want the ground too quick for his stable-star but after he pulled the nine year old out of the JLT Melling Chase at Aintree during the Grand National meeting the Celebration Chase became a very a appealing option.
Altior is looking for his third win in the Grade 1 contest at Sandown and he is said by his trainer to be back to his best.
(Credit Racing Post) Henderson said: "He didn't quite bounce back from Cheltenham, a bit like last year. Nico [de Boinville] said he felt a little bit flat when he sat on him before Aintree.
"But certainly in the last ten days he has shown he is recovered and ready.
Altior equalled the record for most consecutive wins over jumps – joining the superb staying hurdler Big Buck’s – when registering his 18th straight victory in the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, which was also back to back wins in the race and his fourth at the festival.
Henderson mentioned the record and added: "They have got to get beaten some time so we will see.
"Cyrname is a very good horse, obviously, but Altior has shown he is back in very good form in the last ten days."
However, as well as Cyrname being entered for the Celebration Chase, he also has another entry on the Sandown card, with the winner of the Ascot Chase having the potential to go over the further trip of 2 miles 6f in the Oaksey Chase.
Again, Nicholls is wary of the ground for both potential clashes but will be happy with the chance of more rain coming before the weekend.