Classy Altior wins Queen Mother Champion Chase
Altior stormed to victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase as an eagerly anticipated duel with Douvan failed to materialise on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.
The Nicky Henderson-trained, even-money favourite suffered a foot injury scare a couple of days before the race, but made it 13 jump wins out of 13 despite not looking at comfortable on testing ground.
Douvan, ridden by Patrick Mullins after Ruby Walsh was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg sustained following a fall from Al Boum Photo in the RSA Chase, went down four from home on his return following a year out due to injury.
Altior looked to be in trouble with Min and God's Own at the front two from home, but Nico de Boinville found a passage to steer the classy eight-year-old into the lead, and there was no catching the favourite.
It was ultimately a commanding third Cheltenham Festival triumph for the 2017 Arkle champion by seven lengths, with 5/2 shot Min in second and outsider God's Own third at 40/1.
Both Douvan and jockey Mullins came away unscathed on a day in which Walsh was helped off the course with what is feared to be a recurrence of a broken leg.