Champion Chase winner Altior critically ill with colic

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Four-time Cheltenham Festival winner Altior was reported to be fighting for his life on Wednesday after suffering a “severe” bout of colic.

He has undergone two operations and Nicky Henderson wrote in his Unibet blog: “We are all praying and doing everything humanely possible to ensure he can pull through.”

The 13-year-old was retired in 2021 to live with former jockey Mick Fitzgerald but his trainer revealed: “It was discovered on Saturday morning that he was suffering from a severe bout of colic.

“As a consequence, he was taken to the equine hospital very very quickly where he had to undergo a four-hour operation to remove a considerable amount of his intestine. It was a big operation and not straightforward.

“On Sunday morning, he was still extremely uncomfortable so had to undergo further surgery due to complications. There is some reasonably positive news in the fact that this morning [Wednesday] he is stable, but still critical.” 

Altior won 21 races for owner Patricia Pugh, landing the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Arkle Chase and two Queen Mother Champion Chases at Cheltenham in successive years from 2016 to 2019.

“Pat Pugh has been to see him on several occasions and he is currently in extremely good hands with all of the team at Donnington Valley,” Henderson wrote.

“It’s a terrible shame because he deserves a long and happy retirement and was really enjoying life at Chloe and Mick Fitzgerald’s. It’s been extremely tough, and no horse deserves this, especially dear Altior who gave so much pleasure to everyone on the track.

“We are all praying and doing everything humanely possible to ensure he can pull through and continue living life as he should.”

Courtesy of Racing Post