Cyrname's safe return is 'biggest winner of the day' for Nicholls

Top chaser may take a long break after Ascot Chase fall.

  • Saturday 15 February
  • News
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Paul Nicholls described it as “the biggest winner of the day” when Cyrname got back to his feet following his heavy last-fence fall in the Betfair Ascot Chase.

Sent off the 4-11 favourite, Cyrname was well beaten behind eventual winner Riders Onthe Storm when he crashed out – and the Ascot crowd were fearing the worst as the screens were then erected around Nicholls’ Grade One star.

But Cyrname gradually returned to his feet, prompting a cheer from the watching racegoers, before walking back to the stables.

Nicholls said: “I was fairly confident in my mind that he was winded – because on that ground, when they get to the bottom, they are going to be tired.

“The vets have done a great job. He got up, and it is brilliant.

“What a reception from the crowd – it just goes to show how much everyone cares.”

Cyrname was trying to get back on the winning trail following his second place in the King George at Christmas, having ended Altior’s 19-race unbeaten streak over obstacles at Ascot on his seasonal bow.

That contest was run in testing conditions in November, but Nicholls does not feel the race has left its mark and is now keen to draw stumps for the season as he looks for whatever is ailing his charge.

He said: “I just said to Johnny (de la Hey, owner) we want to leave it for the season and go back to the drawing board. There is something missing, but I don’t quite know what it is.

“Everyone will say it is the Altior thing. I don’t think it is – I think there is something physical missing somewhere, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

“Three weeks ago, he wouldn’t have run today. The last three weeks, he has bloomed. The lad who looks after him, Scott – who rides him every day – and Harry rode him round Wincanton the other week, (and) they have all said he has come back and he looked great. There is something missing, though.

“He was keen enough, but he didn’t have anything left from the back of the third last. The ground is probably as testing as he has run on, and it is probably getting to the bottom of all of them.

“(But) I don’t think it was the ground – I think there is something missing.

“He has always had wind issues, which would be made worse on that ground, and it may be something as simple that – we may need to re-cauterise his palate.”

Cyrname returns home sound from his Ascot mishap, and a relieved Nicholls added: “That was the biggest winner of the day.

“It just shows you what people think of the horses. Moments like that show how precious they are not just to us, but to everybody.”

Cyrname's safe return is 'biggest winner of the day' for Nicholls
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