Altior produced a spine-tingling display in the opening race of the Cheltenham Festival, as the Nicky Henderson-trained raider propelled seven lengths clear of the heavily-backed favourite Min to land the Supreme Novices' Hurdle with aplomb, as Buveur D'air stayed on to finish third.
Nico de Boinville, who was tasting victory for the first time in the festival curtain-raiser, elected to position himself on board the 4/1 second favourite in the midfield, as the 15/8 jolly Min was just held up behind early leader Charbel, but as de Boinville urged his charge to get closer, the six-year-old picked up in style and cantered into contention.
His stablemate Buveur D'air was also catching the eye from further back, but Altior's prominent position saw him challenge Min as the pair approached the final flight, and as Willie Mullins' jolly clipped the top bar, Altior maintained his momentum and duly scooted up the hill in stunning fashion to land the race emphatically.
Min was just able to edge out Buveur D'air, who ran a brave race for the Seven Barrows team, but it was his stablemate Altior who stole the show, as he handed Henderson his first win in the race since Flown grabbed the spoils 24 years ago.
13:30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 1.Altior - N Henderson - N De Boinville - 4/1 2.Min - W Mullins - R Walsh - 15/8F 3.Buveur D'Air - N Henderson - N Fehily - 10/1 14 Ran