Nicholls to make late call on Cyrname Sandown run

Top-rated chaser has two options on Saturday

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Paul Nicholls will make a late decision regarding Cyrname’s participation at Sandown on Saturday.

The seven-year-old has won his last two starts at Ascot, in a handicap and a Grade One, resulting in a mark of 178 which makes the highest rated chaser in training.

That perch ranks him above Altior, who is a potential opponent in Saturday’s bet365 Celebration Chase, but Nicholls has also given himself the option of running in the Oaksey Chase over two miles and six furlongs.

Nicholls, who will be crowned champion trainer for an 11th time at Sandown, said: “We’ve got a few decisions to make and we’ll see what weather comes. If the ground isn’t right, he won’t run in anything.

“It is all weather dependant and if we are happy with his work on Thursday. He is fine. We were not going to go to Aintree or Cheltenham as next season is our main aim with him.

“We felt if he was right to run and if the ground was soft, we would run in the Celebration Chase, but we are not keen on running in that if it wasn’t soft as he would be up against it really. It just really depends on the weather forecast.

“We’ve just been ticking him over and have upped his work the last three weeks, just to be ready for this weekend if we need to run him. I don’t want him going there thinking we are not ready.

“If he doesn’t run, he will be roughed off and turned out. He schooled this morning and jumped well and is ready to go.”

Nicky Henderson is keen to run Altior having sidestepped Aintree and the pair are among 12 entries.

Nicholls has also entered Diego Du Charmil, Dolos and San Benedeto.

According to the official ratings, the only other entry in hailing distance of the top two is Alan King’s Sceau Royal, who finished a fine third to Altior at Cheltenham.

Tom George has entered God’s Own and Bun Doran, Gary Moore has put in Darebin with Gino Trail, Vosne Romanee and Marracudja completing the list.

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