Nicky Henderson is to ease off some of his horses for the time being amid an unsatisfactory scope from star chaser Altior.
The six-time champion trainer feels some members of his team, including yesterday's Grade 2 Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase runner-up, are not A1 at present.
The ten-year-old's laboured performance behind 20-1 winner Nube Negra prompted Henderson to check him over.
“We had him scoped – we can’t scope him again today because it’s a Bank Holiday and the laboratory is shut, but we have reason to continue investigating that," he told Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast.
“There was evidence (of the dirty scope). I spoke to (vet) Simon Knapp last night – he confirmed there was, and we need to do a tracheal wash, which then goes to the laboratory. I wouldn’t be surprised if we find there is something amiss.
“It’s definitely not normal, because he was scoped on Christmas Eve and we know it was 100 per cent clean, but 48 hours is a long time in a horse’s life.
“It would be enough to affect a horse's performance – it would in Simon Knapp’s opinion anyway.”
Henderson, who also saw hot favourite Epatante run below form in the Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle on Boxing Day, plans to give some horses a short break.
However his success rate in the last fortnight is still 23 per cent.
One of his Newbury runners tomorrow is 2019 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle fourth Dickie Diver – which was his last outing 655 days ago.
“We’ve got one or two horses that aren’t quite right,” he added.
“I’ve got five runners tomorrow and then I think I’ve got two more this week – (then) we’re going to have a quiet time, and I think I might leave them alone this week."
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