Brain Power a Substitute for Altior as Henderson Star Misses Shloer Chase at Cheltenham

Many trainers up and down the country would love to train a horse like Brain Power and aim him at this Sunday’s Shloer Chase at Cheltenham. However, when you have the strength that Nicky Henderson does, horses like Brain Power can often take a back seat.

This weekend Brain Power will merely be a substitute for the Henderson yard, after it was revealed by the trainer that his stable star Altior would miss the race in favour of keeping fresh for the Tingle Creek next month. When you have such options as a back up to your original plan, it is no surprise that the Henderson horses run exactly when they want and exactly when they are ready to run.

The race has been reopened due to the poor level on entries, so we don’t have a field to discuss just yet, with the exception of Brain Power. The seven year old had a very eventful chasing career, finishing just two of his five starts last season. One of those completions was when second in the Arkle, behind the formidable Footpad at the same course he will run on Sunday.

Whether Brain Power can handle the move into open company over fences is something we will find out this season, but he has to jump better than we have seen from him so far. He won’t be afforded the chance to make the same mistakes as he did last season, and if he does then a year involving more incompletions will be ahead of him unfortunately.

The strength in the Henderson yard is there for all to see, they have a hugely talented horse in Brain Power, but this weekend he is the substitute, with Altior missing the Shloer Chase to remain fresh for bigger targets.