Nicky Henderson ramps up Altior row after trainer insists he told the BHA that ‘something fishy was going on’ before scratching his stable ace
- Most of the leading riders and trainers have deals with bookmakers
- The BHA are concerned about the situation surrounding Altior this week
- Henderson-trained chaser was ruled out of race after three days of uncertainty
Trainer Nicky Henderson has launched a broadside at the BHA, accusing racing’s ruling body of not telling the whole story in last week’s saga of whether Altior would run in yesterday’s Unibet Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton.
Henderson was accused of keeping punters in the dark by announcing on his Twitter account that Altior was not going to run at lunchtime on Tuesday but only after stablemate Top Notch had been backed in ante-post markets.
That was enflamed by the fact that Henderson is an ambassador for bookmakers Unibet.
The BHA are concerned about the potential damage raised by the situation surrounding Altior
But the trainer said he had telephoned the BHA integrity department shortly before 9am on Tuesday morning to inform them he had concerns about Altior, was aware of betting-sensitive rumours circulating and that ‘something fishy was going on’.
Henderson questioned why the BHA had not made this information public, especially when the situation was ramped up late on Wednesday when they released a statement saying they were sending a vet to Henderson’s stable in Lambourn to inspect the gelding, who had not yet been scratched.
Henderson said: ‘I’m furious and have been with the whole thing. A lot of things have been said and written probably without all the information they should have had before they made judgments.
‘Very early on there was a rumour and the first thing I did — and no-one has mentioned this, the BHA certainly haven’t — at about a quarter to or five to nine was ring the BHA to tell them “I’m not happy with the horse and there is a rumour’’.
‘Most assume there was nothing until I made an announcement just before 12 o’clock. The BHA were well aware. Why could they not mention this in all the statements that have been coming out.’
The BHA said: ‘We can confirm Mr Henderson contacted us on Tuesday morning. His call was to let us know that he was concerned about why the horse was drifting despite no decision having been made about his participation.
‘However, this is a separate issue to our statement on Wednesday, which was related to the fact that Mr Henderson had not yet scratched the horse despite having said on Tuesday it was not going to run.’
Henderson said future information from his stable would be released via the Press Association.
Henderson was speaking after Top Notch had finished runner-up to a back-to-form Paul Nicholls-trained Frodon in the Silviniaco Conti Chase. The result gave Bryony Frost her biggest win of the season.