FLASHBACK: The Cyrname Show rolls back into Ascot

Turn back the clock 12 months and a certain Paul Nicholl’s inmate named Cyrname was lining up for the Ascot Chase, few would have guessed that we were about to watch a horse that would go on to become the highest-rated chaser in the land.

He was little more than a bundle of potential who had shown flashes of brilliance in a number of Grade 2 races thus far…

Just a month previous he had shown an outstanding turn of foot in a Handicap chase whereby he set the field a light with an eye catching 21 length victory. Many saw the performance as a one off and that he had simply got away from the field at the right time. How wrong they were…

Nicholls sent the then 6-year-old back to Ascot for what was his first Ascot Chase, with high hopes that he might replicate that wonderous last run only this time in Grade 1 company. Amongst his rivals would be previous Grade 1 winners Politologue and Waiting Patiently, both at the time widely respected as some of the best 2 mile chasers around.

As he had done in his most recent Ascot romp, Harry Cobden set a fast paced gallop out in front aiming to make all. What followed was another relentless performance where one might have been forgiven for thinking his rivals had let him out of sight at the front yet again. But there could be no question of that this time. Cyrname had galloped his rivals into the ground, jumped heroically and powered towards a 17 length victory over elite competition to prove his class.

Nicholls enthused following the race “I had no idea he would improve like he has done. It is an astonishing improvement.

That performance propelled him to the his current title as ‘Jump Racing’s highest rated chaser’, a title legitimized this season with a much talked about victory over Altior in the 1965 Christy Chase and a narrow loss to stablemate and Gold Cup hope Clan Des Obeaux in the King George.

Now a household name, the pressure is very much on the Manor House Stables operation as they look to get him in order to retain his Ascot Chase crown. Whatever happens, his dominating performance in last year’s race will live long in the memory!

To see this weekend’s unmissable action tune into ITV4 from 1:30 on Saturday afternoon. Alternatively for a look at Britains highest rated chaser in the flesh tickets for this weekend’s racing are on sale here or purchasable on the gate on Saturday.

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