Altior v Cyrname Clash Is Off As Nicholls Rules His Star Out

Cyrname Misses Altior Clash

What was set up to be one of the races of the season between the two highest rated chase horses in the sport will now not go ahead due to trainer Paul Nicholls not declaring his stable-star in the contest.

Nicholls has said that the quick ground was the reason why Cyrname will not be running in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at Sandown on Saturday.

The Ascot Chase winner in February is the highest chaser on the planet rated at 178. He was given this after after his sterling performance in the Grade 1 contest where he went on to defeat last year's winner by 17 lengths.

The rating of 178 see's him officially rated 3lb higher than the superstar that is Altior which was a huge talking point in the racing world for months.

Altior is set to still run in the contest and is looking to land his 19th consecutive win to his infamous form line and his third victory in the Celebration Chase

The going on the Sandown track is currently good, good to firm in places which would be to quick for Cyrname, but for Altior should be just fine with the Nicky Henderson trained nine year old known for being fairly versatile on many different going descriptions.

The Esher track could still see Cyrname on Saturday with the gelding still holding a spot in the bet365 Oaksey Chase.

Nicholls will revisit the track tomorrow morning to make his final decision ahead of final declarations for the race day but there will need to be some rain for the seven year old to be involved on the last big jumps day in Britain.

Another Gamble Ahead Of Sandown

Staying with Sandown and with a week of odds changing on certain horses in the big races on Saturday, another one has come out of the woodwork with the Mark Bradstock trained Step Back, who was tailed off in the Grand National has had some money come for him in the bet365 Gold Cup.

On Wednesday afternoon the nine year olds odds went from 16/1 to a best priced 7/1 for the race. The Cracker and Smodge Partnership owned gelding won the seasonal final last season and is now at the head of the market to do it again.

(Credit Racing Post) Trainer Mark Bradstock said: "We're really confused because his owner is a gambler but hasn't backed him.

"I haven't told anyone we're running, so who the hell is backing him?

"We're a bit in the dark how he will run and we're putting on a tongue-tie, which is a new thing. He wouldn't run if the ground was too fast.

"It's nothing to do with us and I'm completely at a loss, although I hope it means it's a weak race and nobody is backing anything else."