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Can anyone stop Altior in Celebration Chase?

Cian Carroll | 28 April 2018

Preview and tips ahead of the Saturday’s live racing

There’s a cracking set of races live on ITV this weekend with jump and flat meetings from Sandown, Haydock, and Leicester.

Punters can also sink their teeth into racing across the pond with the final day of Punchestown.

However, Ed Chamberlin and the ITV crew will be covering the UK action. And the Coral News Team sift through the six races for some tips and key storylines.

How do you solve a problem like Altior?

Nicky Henderson’s charge hasn’t been beaten for over three years. It’s a simply incredible run that sets Altior apart from most horses.

However, the question is, can he be defeated in this renewal of the Celebration Chase? Even the best horses can’t keep on winning. And he did have a slight issue before winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

He’ll face up against the likes of Special Tiara and God’s Own in this Grade 1 renewal. Can either horse put it up to the eight-year-old star?

Special Tiara probably has most claims. Henry De Bromhead’s former Champion Chase winner retains a lot of class and with in-form Daryl Jacob aboard, he has a chance.

Who’s your Daddy?

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Blaklion is favourite for the Gold Cup Handicap Chase. And when you combine trainer and horse credentials, you can see why.

But Blaklion has had a difficult, inconsistent season to date and is arguably one to swerve at this stage considering the weight he’ll give away. Amongst a big field, one name stands out and that’s Minella Daddy.

His trainer Peter Bowen won this race last year, and his son James gets the ride for this renewal. The latter has been in terrific form in recent months and a win here would cap off a tremendous campaign for the young star.

His eight-year-old mount will go off a healthy 10-2 and the ground will suit plenty too. He’s worth a go in a competitive race.

Top Notch day for Henderson

It’s potentially a hugely successful day at Sandown tomorrow (for) champion trainer, Nicky Henderson.

Alongside Altior, his charge Top Notch is the hot favourite for the Grade 2 Oaksey Chase. And it’s difficult to argue with the odds.

The gutsy seven-year-old hasn’t been seen since a slightly off performance at Ascot back in February. Previous to that, though, he’d won both previous starts at Taunton and Ascot.

In the latter, he’d hosed up to beat Double Shuffle by 8L. And the pair will face off again here over 2m 7f. Double Shuffle seems to prefer the longer trip and has endured a long season.

Top Notch has been well-rested and connections are confident he can hit back with a big win.

ITV Racing Tips:

1:50 Sandown – Highway One O One

2:05 Haydock – Calder Prince

2:25 Sandown – Top Notch

2:45 Leicester – Kimberella

3:00 Sandown – Special Tiara e/w

3:35 Sandown – Minella Daddy