Cyrname in line for Altior clash at Sandown

‘Nothing set in stone’, but Celebration Chase more likely than Aintree, says Nicholls

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Paul Nicholls insists Nicky Henderson’s decision to sidestep Aintree with Altior will have no impact on running plans for his stable star Cyrname.

After initially suggesting the brilliant Altior could run in the Melling Chase next Friday, Henderson has revealed his charge will not be making the trip north and will instead round off his season in the Celebration Chase at Sandown – a race he has won in each of the last two seasons.

Nicholls has his eye on the same prize for his brilliant Ascot Chase hero Cyrname and while not completely ruling out sending him to Merseyside next week, he would be happy to take on Altior at Sandown on the final day of the season – if conditions are suitable.

Nicholls told Press Association Sport: “Nothing is set in stone, but at this stage we’re all quite keen to stick right-handed for the time being.

“That’s not to say he won’t go left-handed, but it (Melling Chase) is two and a half miles on a sharp track and we already have Politologue for it.

“We’ll probably leave Cyrname in it – in case something happens to Politologue or something – but at the moment the thinking would be to stay right-handed and go to Sandown and then go for the King George next season.

“The way the weather is at the moment, you might not see Cyrname or Altior at Sandown, but if the ground is right and they do both run it would be some spectacle and something to look forward to.”

Despite Cyrname’s likely absence, Politologue is set to be part of a strong Nicholls team heading to Aintree.

The Ditcheat handler confirmed Clan Des Obeaux an intended runner in Thursday’s Betway Bowl, while Topofthegame will look to follow up his victory in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in Friday’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase.

Cyrname in line for Altior clash at Sandown
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