Altior and Native River to parade at Newbury

Altior and Native River will parade on Betfair Super Saturday at Newbury next month.

Best known for scoring at four successive Cheltenham Festivals, the Nicky Henderson-trained Altior is also the only horse to win Newbury’s Game Spirit Chase three times – in 2017, 2018 and 2020.

Native River, who won a memorable renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2018, is the most successful horse in the history of the Betfair Denman Chase – also winning 2017, 2018 and 2020.

Colin Tizzard’s charge also won the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in 2016 and was retired in December.

He will be joined at Newbury on February 12 by Altior, who won 21 out of 26 races, which included a 19-race unbeaten streak. Time was called on his illustrious career on September.

Altior’s owners, Patricia and Chris Pugh, said: “We are delighted that Altior is returning to parade at his old stomping ground and thank Newbury Racecourse for this invitation.

“Altior had some seminal experiences here which were critical to his career. We would, of course, also like to thank all the fantastic racegoers for their kind words after Altior’s retirement.”

Native River is part-owned by Garth Broom, who said: “Native River was unbeaten in five runs over fences at Newbury.

“The season in which he won the Ladbrokes Trophy, the Welsh National and the Betfair Denman Chase and then finished a very close third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup would be a hard to top as a season. Of course, he then went and trumped that by winning the Gold Cup the following year.

Altior with trainer Nicky Henderson
Altior with trainer Nicky Henderson (Steven Paston/PA)

“He performed for us every season in top-class races. He always raced with his heart on his sleeve. People took to him because he didn’t know how to run a bad race. He gave us so many good memories.”

Clerk of the course Keith Ottesen is delighted the two National Hunt stars will be making their first public appearances since their retirements at Newbury.

He said: “To have these two heroes return to Newbury on Betfair Super Saturday to parade in front of racegoers is particularly special. Our thanks go to owners, Patricia and Chris Pugh and Garth and Ann Broom for their kind permission to bring these two very special jumping legends back to the racecourse so we can give them a proper retirement send-off.

“Both horses have been synonymous with this meeting, and it feels entirely appropriate that they are paraded between their respective winning races on the day.

“Thanks to Chloe and Mick Fitzgerald and the Tizzard team and we look forward to welcoming them all here in just over two weeks’ time and in front of big crowd, our first at this fixture since 2020.”

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