• Altior and Epatante suffered surprise reverses at meeting
  • Trainer plans to give his runners ‘quiet time’ after tests

Nicky Henderson, the trainer of Altior, said on Monday that the former two-mile champion chaser returned an unsatisfactory scope after his three-and-a-half length defeat by Nube Negra in the Grade Two Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park on Sunday.

Altior was nudged along from an early stage to stay in touch with the pace and came under pressure a long way from home on the way to only his second defeat in 22 starts over jumps. Henderson reported immediately afterwards that a scope two days before the race had been “as clean as a whistle” but evidence of an possible underlying infection now appears to have emerged a few hours later.

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