Altior has proved he is as much a fighter off the racecourse as on, as he appears to have “come out of the other side” after two colic operations.
The former top two-mile chaser, who retired in 2021, was found suffering from colic on 21 January. The 13-year-old was still in critical condition four days later, but National Hunt trainer Nicky Henderson has issued a positive update.
“I’m delighted to say that it is good news as he appears to have come out of the other side and seems to be over the worse of his severe bout of colic,” Nicky explained on his Unibet blog yesterday (2 February).
“It’s been a long, slow process. I must admit we were all extremely worried at one time and very concerned that he mightn’t pull through, but thankfully due to the excellent work from everyone at Donnington Grove, especially Kate McGovern, Rosie and the whole team who stayed with him on a 24-hour watch, it looks a though Altior will be able to return home to the Fitzgerald family tomorrow, which is obviously fantastic news for him and all of us.”
Altior, a two-time Champion Chase winner, had been enjoying life with former top jockey Mick Fitzgerald and his wife Chloe since the horse retired from racing in 2021, and it is now hoped he will be able to continue enjoying his retirement.
“There have still been a few nervous moments, but he was getting brighter and brighter as the days went on and it has been amazing how far he has come,” said Nicky. “It’s very rare for any horse to survive what Altior has gone through, and I’d go as far to say that this was as deep as you could go and his chances were not very promising at all.
“But as we’ve all said before, he must be a very tough and brave person to overcome what he has. He was a fighter on the racecourse and is most definitely a fighter off it as well.”
Nicky explained that as things have gradually improved, Altior has been moved back on to solid food, which he has “taken well”.
“He’s still receiving plenty of TLC and certainly won’t be ridden or doing very much for a few weeks or more, but the most important thing is that he is still with us and should hopefully continue enjoying a deserved happy retirement,” continued Nicky.
You may also enjoy reading…
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.