LAMBOURN-based trainer Nicky Henderson will do all he can to get Altior to the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase after revealing the brilliant two-miler was found to be lame on Sunday morning.

Just two days before one of the most famous weeks of jump racing in the country begins, Henderson was dealt a potentially significant blow to his hopes of watching Altior bound to another sensational Cheltenham victory.

Altior suffered his first career defeat over jumps at Ascot in November, but bounced back on his return to his favoured two miles in the Game Spirit at Newbury last month.

All had been set fair for an eagerly awaited showdown with Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi at Cheltenham on Wednesday.

But Henderson told the PA news agency: “Unfortunately Altior was lame this morning, due to an old splint that has been dormant.

“It’s never bothered him before and typically it rears its ugly head now.

“We are working away and there’s lots we can do, we have two days, but it’s an uphill battle.

“We have the treadmill he can go on and it’s very cold water, which helps these things a lot.

“We have to keep going. We’re working away and we’ll either get lucky or we won’t.”

He added: “He was sound as a pound yesterday - you wouldn’t have seen a sounder horse.”

Elsewhere, Marlborough-based Paisley Park is the marquee name among 18 horses still in contention for the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on Thursday.

Emma Lavelle’s stable star is widely regarded as one of the bankers of this year’s Festival as he bids for back-to-back victories in the day three feature.

The eight-year-old is unbeaten in his last seven starts in all and is odds-on across the board to continue his winning sequence on his return to Prestbury Park.

The Nicky Henderson-trained L’Ami Serge and West Approach from Colin Tizzard’s yard also feature.