Image reproduced with the kind permission of Sandown Park Racecourse

Trainer Nicky Henderson has raised the possibility of running Altior at Newbury next month.

The gifted seven-year-old is very much in the picture for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival in March, having stylishly won three out of three over fences.

Altior has been entered for the Grade One Clarence House Chase at Ascot on January 21, in which he could clash with the Willie Mullins-trained Un De Sceaux, who won the Tingle Creek at Sandown last month.

But Henderson is also considering the Grade Two Game Spirit Chase on February 11 as a stepping stone towards the Festival.

The Seven Barrows handler told the Daily Mirror: “I’m not trying to make Altior into Sprinter Sacre and I’m not trying to compare him to Sprinter because you mustn’t.

“But I think he was capable of being a Champion Hurdle horse – and at the moment I don’t regret the switch to chasing.

“It’s all about keeping your options open in the winter.

“I’m also thinking of the Game Spirit but, if he could run round Newbury for £30,000, he could run round Ascot for £150,000.”