ALTIOR makes his much-anticipated debut over fences though he's frightened all but one of the early entries away. Nicky Henderson's charge, a winner here on Boxing Day, was very impressive when landing the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' at the Festival in March from the very highly-regarded Min and, though having no winning chasers in his pedigree, connections believe he'll be a star over the bigger obstacles. His only rival Black Corton, another chasing debutant, has looked ideally suited by frontrunning in his last two starts, the latest on this track, so he's likely to attempt to force the pace and find out any flaws in his rival's jumping.
Altior (IRE) 4-1 (11-7) In touch, headway 3 out, challenged on outside after next, ridden to lead before last, forged clear flat, won at Cheltenham 2m (1) gs in Mar beating Min (11-7) by 7l, 14 ran.
Black Corton (FR) 9-4 (11-6) Led, headed briefly 3 out, soon in front again, pushed along before 2 out, left clear 2 out, soon ridden, stayed on strongly to go clear before last, won at Kempton 2m lst (1) gd in Oct beating New Agenda (11-0) by 10l, 5 ran.