After taking a tumble in The Betfair Ascot Chase last Saturday, it is unlikely that Cyrname will run again this season. Cyrname, who was due to run in Ryanair Chase at The Cheltenham Festival next month, has been described by trainer Paul Nicholls as being ‘stiff and tired’ after his shocking fall over the weekend.
Both horses and racegoers battled against the elements last Saturday at Ascot Racecourse as Storm Dennis created wet and blustery conditions. Cyrname was the favourite to take the crown, having won the Ascot Chase in 2019 and being victorious in two further consecutive Ascot races last year. Starting out strong, Cyrname took the lead by two lengths around fence number five with Riders onthe Storm in second place. As the runners approached fence number nine, it became apparent that something was off with 8-year-old Cyrname, with Riders onthe Storm catching up and eventually taking the lead.
It was at the final fence where we witnessed Cyrname and jockey Harry Cobden take the horrific looking fall. Unfortunately, Traffic Fluide and jockey Joshua Moore also took a shocking tumble soon after as Riders onthe Storm galloped to the finish line with Janika in second place. Despite Riders onthe Storm’s victory, the biggest of all cheers came as Cyrname picked himself up from the turf, much to the relief of spectators.
‘He just got winded but he’s fine now,’ said Nicholls. ‘That ground just gets to them and it takes a while to get their breath back. The vets were brilliant, big result.’ He noted how the crowd’s reaction was bigger and better than that of any winner. ‘We’ll get him back. I’d say we’d leave him to next season now. There’s something missing, I can’t really put my finger on it but he’ll be back and that’s the main thing.’
Since the spectacular win against Altior in the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot last November, there has been a distinct lack of enthusiasm in Cyrname, having lost to Clan Des Obeaux at Kempton last December in the King George VI Chase. Nicholls admitted that ‘in hindsight, Kempton came a little bit quick after Ascot’ but was confident that Cyrname would have been able to put up a top performance on Saturday.
Sadly, it seems that The Cheltenham Festival is now a no go thanks to Saturday’s events. Cyrname has never previously ran at Cheltenham so would have been interesting to see how he performed. That being said, he has certainly proved himself to be a resilient machine after getting back up on Saturday. As the reaction from racegoers has proved, he is a much-loved horse and as Nicholls said, he will definitely be back.
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