Defeat for Mullins in Supreme Novices as Altior takes the opener

RacingBy Sunday World
Altior clears the last on the way to victory
Altior clears the last on the way to victory

Min failed to deliver yet another Supreme Novices' Hurdle for trainer Willie Mullins as Altior, for Nicky Henderson, won the opener of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.

Altior, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico de Boinville, won the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle, the opening event of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.

Min was expected to give Mullins his fourth successive win in this race but Altior (4-1) shattered those dreams and also hopes of a short-priced four-timer for Ireland's champion trainer with a breathtaking performance.

Charbel made the running with Min on his heels until the race began in earnest three out, where Nico de Boinville ranged up on Altior on the outside.

The race soon developed into a duel between the top two, but Altior asserted at the final flight and galloped on strongly up the hill to defeat the 15-8 favourite by seven lengths.

Henderson also took third place with Buveur D'Air (10-1), who made up a lot of ground and was just a length and a half away.