Heavy favourite Altior has won the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase by five to six lengths, the Nicky Henderson trained horse proving pre-race predictions correct with ultimately a fairly comfortable win.
Things looked as if they might be a little different with just over two fences to go, Charbel, who had led for much of the race, pushing Altior harder than perhaps he might have expected.
Charbel was at the front of a fairly spread out pack, depleted by the early pulling up of Three Stars, with Ordinary World and Altior closely following.
It looked as the race entered its final stages, that Charbel, ridden by David Bass, might be able to go all the way and spring a real surprise, however in a dramatic turn of events, he fell at the penultimate fence and the race was robbed of any chance of a major upset.
With Charbel out of the race, Altior cleared the final fence and stormed away from Cloudy Dream who was unable to match the favourite on the home straight and had to settle for second place.
The win for Altior will come as a relief to the many punters who backed him, in particular the one man who staked £400,000 on the Nico de Boinville ridden horse.
The win in the second race of the Cheltenham Festival also marked the 10th in a row for Altior.
- More about: