11 time champion trainer Paul Nicholls could possibly reroute his star chaser Cyrname this weekend and send him to his beloved Ascot ahead of his intended run at Wetherby in the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase.
The eight year old started last season perfectly by ending the mighty Altior's 19 race unbeaten run in the Grade Two 1965 Christy Chase whichh saw the Paul Nicholls' star raised to a new rating of 178 after his performance in a first-time Grade One field, which has only been bettered by seven horses since the turn of the century
After that he was a disappointing second in the King George when not staying the trip and having fell last time out when the strong favourite to land back to back renewals of the Ascot Chase Nicholls is lucky to see him back for another season
The Son of Nickname although falling would not have won the contest having dropped back through the small field near the finish and overall did not show the true Cyrname at his home track.
However, the Ditcheat handler may give him another chances at the Berkshire track in the Grade Three Handicap Sodexo Gold Cup, which would see him give away a lot of weight to the rest of the field over three miles.
(Credit ATR) Nicholls said: “I’ll talk to Johnny (de la Hey, Cyrname’s owner) and see what happens with the ground and the weather.
“We haven’t got to declare until Thursday, so I can’t tell you one way or the other at the moment.”
Nicholls said on Saturday at Cheltenham that he was full steam ahead to start his season off in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, but now will make a final decision on Thursday morning.
“Obviously we had thought about and talked about going to Ireland, but it’s very difficult to get the horse out there with staff and do the job properly, so we didn’t think we’d take a chance, hence we rerouted to the Charlie Hall,” said Nicholls.
“He has got an entry at Ascot in the three-mile handicap. It’s quite a valuable race – and as we know, he does like Ascot.
“He would have to run off 176 at Ascot, which would be a huge task. But as Frodon showed on Saturday (when winning at Cheltenham), top weights can win those handicaps – and you do keep a lot of horses out of the handicap.
“Looking at the weights, you’d say the Charlie Hall would suit him better, but it is a bit of an unknown because we’d be going left-handed.”