30 October 2021

Cyrname team facing tough decisions after Wetherby defeat

30 October 2021

Paul Nicholls has admitted he is approaching last chance saloon with Cyrname after the talented but frustrating nine-year-old was pulled up for the third successive race when seeking back-to-back victories in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby

Since winning the race 12 months ago, Cyrname was subsequently pulled up in the King George at Kempton and in an outing at Ascot.

The Berkshire track was the scene of arguably his finest hour, when inflicting a first defeat over obstacles on Nicky Henderson’s Altior on very testing ground in November 2019.

Cyrname famously beat Altior at Ascot in 2019 (Simon Cooper/PA) (PA Archive)

Cyrname’s victory in last year’s Charlie Hall is his only win in six further races since that day and despite a second wind operation over the summer, Nicholls feels it is still his breathing that is catching him out.

Despite racing keenly and jumping exuberantly for three-quarters of the race, when Harry Skelton breezed by on Shan Blue before the turn for home, Cyrname had no answer and was eventually pulled up before the last.

Shan Blue then fell at the third last when well clear, allowing Fusil Raffles to claim success.

Paul Nicholls will consider the options with Cyrname’s owner (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Wire)

“There’s not a lot more we can do, it’s been an issue for all of his career and we’ve got away with it for a while,” said Nicholls.

“Sometimes when you get in front, you can sit and keep filling his lungs up like today. They know how to take him on and Harry (Skelton) took him on far enough from home and there was nothing in the tank then.

“Harry (Cobden) says he just goes drunk on him because he can’t breathe. It’s a nightmare really because there isn’t too much more we can do.

“He jumps and travels and he’s got all that there, it’s just when he needs that bit of effort, today he was in trouble.”

I know they (the owners) won't want to see him running like that, a decision will be made in the next few days

Nicholls believes retirement could be a possible option for the Johnny de la Hey-owned gelding.

“If he was going to run again it’d be at an easy track, like the Peterborough Chase (at Huntingdon) or something, or we’d just gracefully retire him.

“I know they (the owners) won’t want to see him running like that, a decision will be made in the next few days. He’s fit and well and he can always do something else, it’s just a shame.”

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