Cheltenham Festival 2016 results: Altior holds off Min to claim Supreme Novices' Hurdle victory

Altior held off the Willie Mullins-trained Min by seven lengths to give Nicky Henderson his first winner in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle since 1992

Graham Clark,Nick Robson
Tuesday 15 March 2016 14:53
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Altior passes Min on his way to victory in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle
Altior passes Min on his way to victory in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle

Altior gave Nicky Henderson his first win in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle since Flown in 1992 when proving too good for Willie Mullins' Min in the curtain-raiser at the Cheltenham Festival.

Min was expected to give Mullins his fourth successive win in this race but Altior (4-1) shattered those dreams and also hopes of a short-priced four-timer for Ireland's champion trainer with a breathtaking performance.

Charbel made the running with Min on his heels until the race began in earnest three out, where Nico de Boinville ranged up on Altior on the outside.

The race soon developed into a duel between the top two, but Altior asserted at the final flight and galloped on strongly up the hill to defeat the 15-8 favourite by seven lengths.

Henderson also took third place with Buveur D'Air (10-1), who made up a lot of ground and was just a length and a half away.

De Boinville said: "I was seriously impressed - all season we've been waiting for a proper pace.

"I thought I had a bit of horse left (at the second-last).

"We know he stays, I think he outstayed them.

Altior passes Min on his way to victory in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle

"He'll make a lovely chaser some day."

Henderson hailed De Boinville's efforts in the saddle and was thrilled to kick off the meeting with a winner.

He said: "He always looked to be in the right place - Nico give him a lovely ride.

"Nico was happy, I was always happy.

"We really needed to win this one - we had to win otherwise it was going to be uphill all the way.

"We think he is very good."

PA

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