Safe to say that I’m really looking forward to this weekend. There aren’t many weekends you get to ride a genuine top-class horse and this weekend I get to ride two!
I’ll also be taking over Great British Racing’s Instagram story on Saturday. Make sure you tune in!
Can’t wait to get going on Cyrname in the Betfair Ascot Chase. He’s working well and on past form he’s obviously the horse to beat in the race. It’s a competitive renewal but he should be right up there if he produces his old sparkle.
He was a disappointing in the King George on Boxing Day but Paul Nicholls has been working a lot with him since then. Paul is exceptional at getting his horses back to their best, so it’d be foolish for anyone to rule him out on the back of one below par run.
Cyrname certainly felt in great shape when I schooled him this week.
We reviewed his run in the King George and learning from that I’ll probably ride him a bit more aggressively this time around as that’s what we feel will get the best out of him. Cyrname will also be wearing cheekpieces just to help make sure he’s fully focussed on the job in front of him.
Cyrname has put in some incredible performances at Ascot in recent years, the 2019 Ascot Chase was for me the highlight of his career. Then there was the Christy 1965 Chase victory last season that put an end to Altior’s world record winning run.
In the Ascot Chase two years ago, he got into a quite beautiful rhythm and when I pressed the button after the second last he just rocketed away from top horses like Waiting Patiently, Politologue and Fox Norton.
If he can reproduce that level of form then I can’t see him losing.
A horse I know well, Master Tommytucker, is probably the main danger, Daryl Jacob is riding him on Saturday so with a new jockey on board it there’s always an added threat. He has stacks of ability and if he runs at his best he’ll push Cyrname all the way.
Looking further ahead with the Cheltenham Festival on the horizon, Cyrname could run in a Ryanair Chase, but no decision will be made until much closer to the time.
He’s such a classy horse that if he goes for the Ryanair then he’ll be a major contender, I’ve no doubt of that.
2:25pm: Kapcorse in the ‘My Oddsboost’ On Betfair Swinley Chase (A Limited Handicap)
Kapcorse has got a nice, light weight which will certainly help his chances. He performed well on his first start of the season at Newbury and I’m sure he’ll improve from that run where he finished seventh. A good chance in a big competitive handicap.
3:00pm: Malaya in the Betfair Cheltenham Free Bet Pot Builder Handicap Hurdle
Malaya won the Grade 3 at Sandown back in 2019, so she’s capable of winning a race of this level. She’s been a little disappointing of late but she seems in good form at home and we’re hoping she’ll bounce back.
4:45pm: So Said I in the Dingley’s Promise British EBF Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race
She ran well in her first start at Wincanton, she’s a nice filly and I’m sure she’s learnt a lot that day. Ascot bumpers tend to be high quality but we’re hopeful she’ll run well.
Clan Des Obeaux is going great guns ahead of this Sunday’s rescheduled Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury. It looks the perfect race for him. He’s shown a liking for Newbury as a youngster, winning both of his races at the course in 2015 and 2016.
There may be no Champ in the line-up but it’s still a top-quality contest. Lostintranslation is a proven Grade 1 winner and with Colin Tizzard’s yard seemingly coming into better form he rates the main danger for me.