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Talking Horses: Altior faces post-defeat day of destiny at Newbury

Altior approaches a crossroads in his career after his brutal Ascot run and no one can be sure which way he will turn

Altior will approach a crossroads at Newbury on Saturday afternoon, and no one, not even those who devote themselves daily to the task of training, riding and caring for him, can be 100% sure which way he will turn. His 19-race winning streak has, as Tony McCoy always said about his winner-count at the start of a new season, been reset to zero. Unlike McCoy, though, Altior can’t tell us how he feels about starting from scratch.

That will become apparent only when, or if, he comes under some pressure on Saturday. Altior has always been, in the eyes of the stern judges at Timeform, “notably genuine and reliable”. You do not win 19 times in a row, including 10 Grade One races and four at the Cheltenham Festival, if you are anything but.

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