Nicky Henderson had mooted the possibility at the weekend of his brilliant chaser running in the Grade Two should it be staged at Taunton following the abandonment of Huntingdon, as it was three years ago when won by Top Notch.
However, the fact the race will now be run at Cheltenham over two and a half miles means Altior – who missed the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday due to ground concerns – will wait for the Desert Orchid Chase on the second day of Kempton’s Christmas meeting instead.
“Altior won’t be entered, he wouldn’t want two and a half miles around Cheltenham. He’ll go to Kempton at Christmas,” said Henderson.
“The other day I was thinking it was only two-three at Taunton a few years ago, but I was wrong. That would have made my ears prick on good ground, but he wouldn’t want that trip at Cheltenham.
“Top Notch will definitely run and Mister Fisher will have the option of the Peterborough and the Caspian Caviar on Saturday, I’ll have to speak to his owners.
“Very well done to everybody involved at the British Horseracing Authority and Jockey Club for getting the race reorganised, it is much appreciated. Especially when there is already a valuable race over the same trip at the same meeting.”
He added: “Ground will be very important to Mister Fisher, if it was good ground forecast for Friday and there was rain due Saturday, it would make me want to run on Friday even more.”
Fresh entries for the race will close at midday on Tuesday, with declarations at the 48-hour stage the following morning as normal.
The Fitzdares-sponsored Henrietta Knight Mares’ National Hunt Flat Race, which carries Listed status, has also been saved from Sunday’s Huntingdon meeting and will be run at the Cambridgeshire track on December 22.Check out the Racing TV large screen app on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV devices, so you can enjoy the action on your TV screen! Click here for more details.
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