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Talking Horses: no reason yet for shock defeats of Altior and Epatante

After early suspicion of a dirty scope, Nicky Henderson says no reason has presented itself for eclipse of his Christmas stars

Nicky Henderson remains puzzled by the Christmas defeats suffered by a couple of his stars, saying on Wednesday that further tests had failed to pinpoint any reason why Altior and Epatante should have run below form. However the trainer reported that Altior at least appeared to be in good spirits after his race on Sunday, and insisted he would “certainly not” be closing his Seven Barrows stable.

Related: Talking Horses: Cheltenham calls off New Year’s Day meeting

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