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Altior surgery: Nicky Henderson confirms Champion Chase star in stable but critical condition after colic

Altior found to be suffering 'severe bout of colic' on Saturday and has since undergone two lots of surgery after complications following initial four-hour operation; former Champion Chase star now living with Mick Fitzgerald

Nicky Henderson and Altior
Image: Nicky Henderson with Altior at his Seven Barrows base in Lambourn

Dual Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Altior is reported to be in a stable but critical condition after suffering a severe bout of colic.

A true jump racing great, Altior won 19 races in a row for Nicky Henderson, including the 2018 and 2019 Champion Chase, on his way to becoming the highest-rated horse in training, with a peak mark of 175.

He was retired in 2021 aged 11, bowing out having won 21 of his 26 career starts, including 10 Grade One races and four victories at the Cheltenham Festival.

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Altior has since spent his retirement with former jockey Mick Fitzgerald, but Henderson has revealed his one-time stable star is now fighting for his life in hospital.

Providing an update on his former star on Thursday, Henderson told his Unibet blog: "I am pleased to report this morning that Altior had a good night and is more comfortable than he has been so far.

Image: Altior won two Champion Chase titles at the Cheltenham Festival

"There is still a very long way to go and the next stage is try and wean him off the artificial feeding system towards more natural, normal feed which will test his internal organs and if they can cope.

"It will be a big change and the question, to put it very simply, will be if his gut will still work, so it's another big day with plenty of risks involved; with each step comes another big test.

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Altior's career profile
Image: Altior's racing career in numbers

"Mick and Chloe saw him last night and said he was definitely much brighter and perkier in himself, which is a good sign. I was unable to visit yesterday but will be seeing him later today and Pat Pugh has barely left his side.

"A lot of people say he was a fighter on course and he's now having to prove it off it as well, but we're keeping fingers and toes crossed that he pulls through and we'll keep everyone posted with any further news."

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