Racing Recap: Altior and Native River confirm Cheltenham credentials

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Altior and Native River remain on course for Cheltenham success after the pair enjoyed a successful return to action at Newbury on Saturday.

The latter defied a 330-day layoff to justify favouritism with a 12l success over Cloudy Dream in the Denman Chase.

Colin Tizzard’s runner has been cut to 6/1 from 8/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup as a result. He remains second in the ante-post market behind 3/1 favourite Might Bite.

Altior also enjoyed a triumphant return to hurdles with a hard-fought 4l win over the progressive Politologue in the Game Spirit Chase.

Nicky Henderson’s raider was made to work by his younger opponent but showed his class in the final two furlongs to maintain an unbeaten jumping record.

He’s now 4/6 from 11/10 to triumph in the Champion Chase. Willie Mullins’ Min is next best at 9/4.

You can also back Altior at 2/1 to go unbeaten in 2018, providing he runs at least three times in total this year. The eight-year-old is also available at 9/4 to land both the 2018 and 2019 Champion Chase.

Meanwhile, at Warwick, Saint Calvados confirmed his own immense promise with a first black-type triumph in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase.

The French-bred raider blitzed the field to win by 22l and is now 7/1 from 10/1 for the Arkle.

Elsewhere, Kalashnikov has moved into 8/1 third-favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle after a convincing victory in Grade 3 company on Saturday.

Hardline, who enjoyed success at Punchestown on Sunday, is a 40/1 chance.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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