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.

Classy Altior wins Queen Mother Champion Chase

Classy Altior wins Queen Mother Champion Chase

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.

While Willie Mullins missed out in the Champion Chase, the prolific Irish trainer took his tally of the winners for the week to five with a double.

Bleu Berry (20/1) took the Handicap Hurdle under Mark Walsh, while Katy Walsh - sister of Ruby - won the Champion Bumper on the 25/1 priced Relegate on Ladies Day as the canny Mullins finished day two with a 1-2-3.

There was a treble for Mullins' compatriot Gordon Elliott, with Jack Kennedy delivering two of those wins on board Samco and Veneer of Charm in the Novices' Hurdle and Juvenile Handicap Hurdle respectively.

Tiger Roll was Elliott's third success of the day, winning the Cross Country Chase – the horse's third success in the Festival in the space of four years.

It was a mixed day for an emotional Davy Russell, an emotional winner aboard imperious 5/2 favourite Presenting Percy in the Novices' Chase following the recent death of his mother before being stood down for the day due to injury.

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