Altior will miss the Cheltenham Festival for a second successive year after again being withdrawn at the last minute
The Irish-bred stallion made his debut at Prestbury Park in 2016, winning on his inaugural race in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
The esteemed racer won at four straight Festivals and is one of the biggest names in the sport.
Trainer Nicky Henderson confirmed that Altior will not compete in the Champion Chase on Wednesday due to health concerns.
The “bitter-blow” faced by Altior’s exclusion for a second consecutive year has led many to speculate about the possible retirement of the horse.
“We are very sorry that we have taken the difficult decision not to run Altior” Henderson said.
“This is devestating for all of us, this is the second year running that we have had to pull him out in the last minute”
“This is a bitter blow to us all and we are sorry for everyone that he will not be there on Wednesday”
The Cheltenham Festival starts at 1:20pm on Tuesday with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.