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Published: 13:42 | 15/3/16

Altior reigns Supreme

Altior proved too strong for favourite Min as he galloped to a seven length win in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Min had been tipped to provide Willie Mullins with a fourth successive victory in the curtain-raiser but he was far from fluid as he produced a couple of mistakes under Ruby Walsh.

Despite his mistakes, the favourite was marginally in front rounding the home turn, only for Nico de Boinville to join him with a perfectly-timed run aboard Altior and within a matter of strides he was out in front.

A clear jump at the last all but sealed his win and he galloped up the famous hill to hand Nicky Henderson a first winner of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle since 1992.

The winner's stable companion finished strongly to take third.

"I was seriously impressed. All season we've been waiting for a proper pace and I've got to take my hat off to David Bass [on Charbel], he went a real good gallop. I owe him a lot today," De Boinville said.

"I thought jumping the second out Ruby had collected his horse up again and I thought I had a bit of horse there. We know he stays and that's what he did. I think he outstayed them."

Henderson added: "He always looked to be in the right place, Nico gave him a great ride.

"I was always happy and he's very good. He and Buveur D'Air have both run cracking races and if we were going to have anything, we needed to win this one, otherwise it was going to be uphill all the way."

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