THE highest rated national horse in training, Cyrname, is reportedly back to his very best, according to his trainer Paul Nicholls.
The eight-year-old is due to run in the Betfair Ascot Chase on Saturday, for which he is 8/15 favourite with most bookmakers to repeat his 2019 success in the 2m 5f race.
Cyrname ended the unbeaten run of Altior back in November.
Nicholls said: ”Ascot is a track he loves. He takes a little bit of time to come to himself between races, but he schooled under Harry [Cobden] and jumped nicely. He had a little away-day last week, and worked very well on Saturday morning. He’s bang fresh and well.”
But looking ahead, Nicholls said Cyrname would not run at Cheltenham next month.
He was thought to have been earmarked for the Ryanair Chase but will probably run at Aintree instead.
For those seeking out Cheltenham free bets, the Ryanair Chase is building up to be a great race with A Plus Tard, Min and Riders On the Storm prominent in the betting. Real Steel and Footpad are others who may offer more value in the betting market. Altior is bound for the Queen Mother Champion Chase again.
Cyrname, a French-bred son of Nickname owned by Sam de la Hey, was very impressive when beating Altior by two and a quarter length to win the G2 Christy 195 Chase – over the same distance as the Betfair Ascot Chase – at Ascot in November. He then finished second to his stablemate Clan Des Obeaux in the G1 King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, his first attempt at three miles. Betting enthusiasts and fans will be happy to know that recently Cyrname has cut his odds to the Gold cup to as little as 10/1 following his glorious performance at the Christy 195 Chase.
“Obviously in hindsight the Kempton race came a bit quick after Ascot,” observed Nicholls. “If we were to go to the King George again, I probably wouldn’t use the Ascot race as a preparation. He is so good fresh that I might even go there first time out. Ascot left a bit of a mark on him, and Clan Des Obeaux was obviously on fire that day at Kempton. Cyrname still ran well to finish second, though.
“He has taken a while to come to himself after that, but he’s not a big, heavy, strong horse like Denman – he’s more of a fragile, Kauto Star-like horse and you’ve just got to mind him a fraction.”