Cyrname sparkles in Charlie Hall return
Paul Nicholls’ charge was last seen in February when he suffered a heavy fall at the final fence in defence of his Ascot Chase crown, but he put that memory well behind him at the Yorkshire track.
Cyrname, the highest-rated chaser in training, has been kept to right-handed tracks over the last couple of seasons, but going the other way around and tackling three miles for just the second time in his career, the 3-1 shot made no mistakes.
Harry Cobden only had to shake his mount up after the last and when he did, Cyrname (3-1) had plenty left in the locker easing home by two lengths from 2-1 favourite Vinndication, with Aye Right back in third.
Cyrname disappointed when only second in last year’s King George VI Chase, but following his stunning comeback win, he is now 7-2 joint-favourite for the Christmas highlight with stablemate Clan Des Obeaux, who is going for a third win in the race.
“I’m thrilled to bits – that meant a lot,” said Nicholls.
“Everyone was saying he wouldn’t go left-handed and wouldn’t get three miles, but everything he does at home suggests he wants three miles and more.
“He’s a different horse now to what he was two or three years ago. To see him jump and travel like that today just shows he’s grown up.
“You couldn’t work him upsides another horse as he was such a tearaway, but now he’s so much more relaxed and you can ride a race on him.
“I was slightly concerned as we hadn’t got him away for a gallop with the ground being so firm. He was fit and well, but he will improve.”
Regarding future targets, Nicholls said: “He’ll probably go straight to the King George now, although I always thought Leopardstown would suit him well, so I might even cover my options and give him an entry (in the Savills Chase).
“He wasn’t right when he ran at Kempton last year – you can put a line through that. Kempton will suit him well, we’ve got a nice bit of time now and if he’s there at his best, he’ll be a serious challenger.
I'd say he'll go to Kempton, then the Denman Chase at Newbury and then we can think about the spring
“This opens up lots of doors – it doesn’t matter now if he goes left-handed or right-handed and he’d definitely go round Cheltenham.
“I’d say he’ll go to Kempton, then the Denman Chase at Newbury and then we can think about the spring.
“I don’t think he’s a Ryanair horse – I don’t think he’s quick enough. If we were going to Cheltenham, I think he’ll be running in the Gold Cup.”