BHA vet to examine Altior after revelation he still holds Kempton entry
The BHA has revealed that Altior has yet to be scratched from Saturday's Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton and called on trainer Nicky Henderson to clarify Altior's participation "in the interests of fairness and transparency".
In a statement on Wednesday evening the authority said it would be sending a BHA vet to Henderson's Seven Barrows yard to examine the two-time Champion Chase winner.
Henderson had tweeted on Tuesday that the star chaser would not run on Saturday, with the trainer expanding on his reasons in a blog with stable sponsor Unibet.
The former champion trainer had ruled Altior out of running due to lingering concerns about whether the horse was in peak condition, but not before the ten-year-old’s price had drifted significantly with bookmakers, including Unibet.
Altior remains able to run at Kempton on Saturday should Henderson and owners Christopher and Patricia Pugh have a change of heart.
The BHA urged Henderson to publicly confirm his intentions as soon as possible, but added any considerations into whether the trainer had breached rules by failing to scratch Altior would follow in due course.
The statement said: "The BHA can confirm that Altior continues to hold his entry for the Unibet Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton Park on Saturday.
"As a result of this, the BHA has, in the first instance, spoken with Mr Henderson and reminded him of his obligation under the rules to immediately scratch a horse if, at any time between closing and the deadline for declarations, the trainer becomes aware that the horse is not going to run.
"The BHA has also arranged for a BHA veterinary surgeon to examine the horse tomorrow.
"In the interests of fairness and transparency for racing fans and the betting public, it is for Mr Henderson to clarify his plans publicly as soon as he can.
"The BHA will monitor the situation but we won’t comment on wider issues or any potential rule breaches at this point."
In response, five-time champion jumps trainer Henderson said: “I have nothing further to add to what is in the BHA statement this evening.”
Racing professionals are encouraged by the BHA to make "market sensitive" information live via their own channels such as social media or through the wider media before extra information is put forward in bookmaker-hosted blogs.
Altior, whose winning run of 19 was ended by Cyrname in Ascot's 1965 Chase in November, had been long odds-on to get his season back on track in the Silviniaco Conti Chase.
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