Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas, hope you all are having a good one. I think it’s needed after the year that’s gone by.
My Christmas is looking good, it’s nice to take it relatively easy ahead of a big day’s racing on Boxing Day. On Christmas Day, I’ll ride out at Paul Nicholls’ yard in Ditcheat and help everyone get things wrapped up early so all the stable staff can enjoy the rest of Christmas with their families.
After that I’ll help out Dad with a few things on the farm, the cows need looking after as much as the racehorses! I’ll then be tucking into my Christmas lunch, I haven’t got any light riding weights on Boxing Day so I’ll be able to have my fair share of the Christmas turkey. It’ll then be a relaxing afternoon opening presents.
Now, onto the main event, Cyrname in the King George.
You’ll see a very different Cyrname going in to this year’s King George. He’s firing fit, very fresh and he’s an improved horse from last season.
Cyrname is one of those horses that try as hard as he possibly can and put so much into their races that they need more time to recover. When he won against Altior at Ascot last year, he put so much effort in that it took a lot out of him for the rest of the season.
He’s had much better preparation this year, I was delighted with him on his seasonal return in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. He clearly stayed three miles on testing ground, while the competition wasn’t King George standards, he did beat decent horses in Vinndication and Aye Right comfortably.
Cyrname has come out of the race at Wetherby really well. I schooled Cyrname on Monday, he jumped brilliantly, he was giving the fences plenty of daylight. I could barely hold him, he’s raring to get back on a racecourse.
He feels in a really good place mentally as well as physically, he’s a happy horse which is very important. When horses are loving their work they are much more likely to run to the best of their ability.
Cyrname and Clan Des Obeaux look likely to be the main contenders for Boxing Day’s biggest prize. Clan Des Obeaux being a two-time winner knows how to get the job done round Kempton, and a fitter and fresher Cyrname is an entirely different prospect this time around.
However, it’s a competitive race, the ground is good and soft in places which will favour Lostintranslation, he’s a completely different animal in those conditions. It wouldn’t surprise me if he bounced back and was a big player in the latter stages of the race.
In terms of how I’ll see the race panning out, it depends who goes out in front, I imagine Frodon will lead but if he’s getting in my way or he’s going too slow then I’ll go past him because he jumps a bit left which will distract from my run round the track. I won’t be forcing Cyrname but I’ll be travelling round at a good pace, we won’t be going slow!
Cyrname is the best horse I’ve ever sat on and in my opinion he’s the best chaser in the country right now, on his day he’s incredibly hard to beat. He’s the only horse to have ever beaten Altior and we know how amazing Altior has been over the last few years with that unbeaten streak he went on.
On Cyrname’s day, he’s an absolute monster and I’m confident heading into Boxing Day.
Check out my Q&A that I did last night on Great British Racing’s Instagram.