HOT-pot favourite Altior (1-4) stayed on powerfully to hand Nicky Henderson his sixth win in the Gr1 Racing Post Arkle Trophy, on the first day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.
Given a no-nonsense ride by Nico De Boinville, last year’s Sky Bet Supreme winner was always tracking Charbel and had just been asked to go and reel in the leader when Kim Bailey’s horse fell two from home.
Altior was near faultless in his jumping, winging the last as Cloudy Dream (12/1) tried in vain to lay down a challenge, and at the line the 1/4 favourite had six lengths in hand.
Charbel still appeared to have plenty to offer when coming down, his fall allowing Ordinary World (25/1) to take third having been handy throughout.
Trainer Nicky Henderson said: “They went a good gallop and Charbel was still galloping away, but Altior jumped and travelled well.