Cyrname fortunate to walk away from heavy fall at Ascot as Paul Nicholls ends the steeplechaser’s season
- The highest rated steeplechaser in Britain took a heavy fall at Ascot on Saturday
- Cyrname crashed down after misjudging a fence in the Betfair Ascot Chase
- Trainer Paul Nicholls has been forced to end the horse’s season early
- He said Cyrname had ‘something missing somewhere’ in recent races
Cyrname, the highest rated steeplechaser in Britain, walked away from a crashing fall at Ascot yesterday but will not race again this season according to his trainer Paul Nicholls.
The 4-11 favourite to win the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase for the second year running was a beaten horse and looking like he going to finish last of the four starters behind 7-2 winner Riders On the Storm when misjudging the final fence.
Cyrname beat Altior in a much-anticipated clash at Ascot in November but then seemed to lack sparkle when beaten by stablemate Clan Des Obeaux in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Cyrname was fortunate to get up from a heavy fall at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday
The steeplechaser was 4-11 favourite to win the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase again
Cyrname will not run again this season after falling in the race the horse won last year
Nicholls conceded that he had been worried about the testing ground at windswept Ascot but still felt Cyrname was still not firing on all cylinders.
The champion trainer added: ‘We are going to leave it for the season now and go back to the drawing board. He has bloomed in the last three weeks but there is something missing somewhere but I can’t put my finger on it.
‘Everyone will say it’s because he had a hard race against Altior but I don’t think it is that. He has always had breathing issues which would have been made worse on that ground and we might have to look at a little operation.’
Paul Nicholls believes the steeplechaser was not firing at its best form on Saturday
Whether Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Riders On the Storm would have beaten Traffic Fluide, who also fell at the last fence, was debatable but he is as short as 5-1 for the Ryanair Chase and has momentum to his season.
The Twiston-Davies stable also landed Ascot’s Swinley Chase with Ballyoptic, whose Grand National odds were cut to 25-1. His trainer said: ‘He fell at the fourth last in last season’s Grand National when going well and is a better horse this season.’
The Haydock National trail was win by Alex Hales-trained 33-1 shot Smooth Stepper but he is not entered for the £1million race at Aintree.
Trainer Nicholls has been forced to go back to the drawing board with Cyrname
Meanwhile, the participation of 2017 Grand National winner One For Arthur must be in doubt. Trainer Lucinda Russell told stewards her gelding was suffering from an ‘irregular heartbeat’ after he was pulled up at Haydock.
Russell said: ‘We will have him checked over and make decisions what to do later in the week.’
Dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll makes his belated seasonal debut in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan this afternoon.
POPULAR sprinter Kachy suffered a fatal injury when running in the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap at Lingfield yesterday.