Cyrname’s Ascot victory over Altior cemented his place as Britain’s highest-rated chaser, with the British Horseracing Authority’s handicapping team raising his mark to 177.
Following two stunning displays at the Berkshire circuit earlier in the year, the Paul Nicholls-trained Cyrname ended last season on a perch of 176 – 1lb ahead of Altior, who was unbeaten in 19 starts over jumps.
Those figures were put to the test in a mouth-watering clash for Saturday’s Christy 1965 Chase – and Cyrname’s two-and-a-quarter-length verdict has seen him raised 1lb, with Altior remaining on a mark of 175.
BHA handicapper Michael Harris said: “Many eyebrows were raised last year when Cyrname was given a rating of 176 following a dominant Grade One success at Ascot, making him the highest rated horse in Britain, and he went into Saturday’s race as an underdog against two-mile champion Altior, who was officially rated 1lb behind on 175.
“It is rare that two such high-profile horses meet at this stage of the season, so it was great for the sport to see them both run and seemingly give their running on the day, too.
“Visually, and on the clock, there is nothing to suggest this form is unreliable and I have raised Cyrname by another 1lb to 177, with Altior remaining on 175.
“With his class now established, the challenge for Cyrname going forward is for him to show he can perform to the same level away from Ascot.”
The other big mover towards the top of the chasing tree over the weekend was Lostintranslation, with Colin Tizzard’s inmate charging to the top of ante-post lists for the Magners Cheltenham Gold up with an impressive display in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
Handicapper Martin Greenwood has given him an elevated rating of 173 following his comprehensive defeat of dual Betfair Chase hero Bristol De Mai (170) – and is looking forward to seeing him clash with Cyrname, and potentially Altior, in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Greenwood said: “Now successful on both his starts at around three miles, Lostintranslation left his previous bare form behind in defeating hat-trick seeking Bristol de Mai in the Betfair Chase. Make no mistake, it was a victory entirely on merit.
“While Bristol de Mai can’t be considered a top-drawer chaser, he is a very likeable and capable horse who was unbeaten in his four previous visits to Haydock, including the previous two editions of the Betfair.
“The only other chasers currently rated above Lostintranslation are Cyrname (177), Kemboy (176), Al Boum Photo and Altior (both 175).
“With stamina questions regarding Cyrname and Altior, the current problems with Kemboy’s syndication and Al Boum Photo not due out until the new year, I think it is fair to say that Lostintranslation is very much in pole position as things stand in this season’s staying chase pecking order,” he told his BHA blog.