Superstar horse Altior in critical condition as Nicky Henderson rushes legend for surgery | Racing | Sport

Superstar horse Altior in critical condition as Nicky Henderson rushes legend for surgery | Racing | Sport

Legendary racehorse Altior is in a ‘critical’ condition after he was suffering with severely with colic. The four-time Cheltenham Festival winner is currently at an equine hospital, having undergone surgery over the weekend to attempt to treat the problem.

The 13-year-old is widely regarded as one of the modern-day greats following his illustrious National Hunt career. Altior’s final race came in 2021 and he has been enjoying retirement with former jockey Mick Fitzgerald.

However, the two-time Champion Chase winner was rushed to an equine hospital on Saturday after it was discovered that he had been struck down by colic, Nicky Henderson has revealed. He told his Unibet column: “Unfortunately, we have a problem with Altior after 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.”

Altior is now in a ‘stable but critical condition’, leaving the Henderson yard – and the wider horse racing community – desperately hoping to hear about positive developments. His former trainer continued: “There is some reasonably positive news in the fact that this morning he is stable, but still critical.

“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. 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.”

Altior is largely known for his 19-race unbeaten run between 2015 and 2019, which included four wins at Cheltenham as well as a Tingle Creek. That streak came to an end in Christy 1965 Chase when he was beaten by Cyrname in a gruelling race at Ascot which saw both horses give their very all in a race for the ages. It remains to be seen whether Altior can recover from his bouts of surgery and return to his well-deserved retirement.

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