Cyrname And Altior Set To Clash At Ascot

Ditcheat trainer Paul Nicholls has boosted the chances of a potential clash of the titans contest between his top chaser CYRNAME and Champion chaser ALTIOR in the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot at the end of November.

Cyrname was earlier this year rated as the highest chaser on the planet after a sensational 17 length victory in the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase but with a period of inactivity, he now finds himself at number three behind his potential nemesis Altior and the Willie Mullins trained Min.


Much has been speculated of late of the route Altior will go this season with a potential step up to three miles apparently been considered by connections but trainer Nicky Henderson this week spoke out about any rumours regarding Altior in his Unibet blog.

"I’d like to make it clear that nothing is set in stone as to what he is going to do. After a brief chat with Patricia Pugh yesterday we will all sit down again in the very near future and make a decision as to which route we take.

"We all know how good Altior is at two miles and I suppose you could say if we are the best at one thing, why change it? But I personally think he’s looking for another half a mile in which case we have to start thinking about is the King George where we want to go?"


Speaking to Sky Sports Racing, Nicholls however seemed rather excited at the prospect of putting his stable star up against one of the finest chasers of recent times.

“One has got form over two (miles) in Altior and this horse has form over two-five. It will be some clash if they meet at Ascot. He (Cyrname) is a high-class horse who will hopefully keep going forward, but he has got to get three miles yet. It’s a bit like Altior – it’s great being able to gallop and get two-mile-five and he suggested at Ascot he will get three, but until they actually do it you don’t know for sure.”


The million dollar question is of course, who wins? And it's the million dollar question cause both horses have valid arguments as to why they would, especially over the 2m 5f distance which looks the most likely at the moment.

The main case for Altior is that he is undoubtedly one of the finest chasers we have ever seen with 19 straight victories in a row including NINE Grade 1 wins. However, he's yet to run over further than 2m 1f so the extra half a mile over 2m 5f could ask some serious questions but it would also give us a better idea as to how doable the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day would be for him then obviously after that, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

He's stuck in a bit of a rut at the moment Altior. There's no chaser that comes close to him over two miles and he's finding it all too easy so to find serious competitors, he's going to either have to step up in trip or carry a lorry on his back.

Cyrname's case is fairly more simple. He's bolted up on both occasions over 2m 5f at Ascot with a combined winning distance of 38 lengths from those two wins. There's his case clear and simple The winner of this match up really does depend on Altior.

If he's the same or better over 2m 5f as he is over two miles, he wins the race. If he isn't, then you have to say Cyrname is favourite.

Whether we get to see it or not is a different question but if we do, it'll undoubtedly be a race that we won't forget in a hurry.