NICKY Henderson is unlikely to be tempted into running Altior in the King George.
Following his scintillating Tingle Creek win, connections discussed the Boxing Day showpiece but decided it would come too soon.
Henderson told Luck on Sunday: “We had a long discussion about it after racing and I’d love to have a go. If it was in a month’s time I don’t think there would be any doubt we would.
“I cannot believe that however comfortably he might have won that he is going to come out of that in 17 days’ time not a little bruised from yesterday.
“It’s very tempting. We left him in on Tuesday so I don’t say we’ve ruled it out, but we virtually did. He’s got time on his side – I know we can be accused of wrapping him up in cotton wool.”
Henderson also revealed that his Champion Chase hero pulled off a shoe in his Tingle Creek win.
He added: “He wasn’t quite sound this morning when they put the shoe back on, but it’s come back off and they’ve rung me and are perfectly happy. It will be poulticed and he’ll be fine.
“Going that gallop in heavy ground has to have taken something out of him and it was his first run. It was testing old stuff – it was for brave boys as well as good boys.
“I always think they need a bit more time. You don’t want to come back too quick from that first run.
“There’s one obvious race for him at Cheltenham – the Champion Chase – and that is the only thing that really matters.
“There are things we would like to do afterwards. You’d like to go to two and a half (miles) first. That would not prove an awful lot. He’s going to get that. Aintree would not tell us a whole heap by going two and a half round there.
“If it was in a month’s time and on decent ground I would say we’d be almost be certainly doing it (King George). I think 17 days is a tall order and I suspect it’s highly unlikely.”
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