Tough choice for Harry Cobden in Betfair Ascot Chase

Cyrname on his way to a facile Ascot success
Cyrname on his way to a facile Ascot success

Paul Nicholls believes stable jockey Harry Cobden will have a difficult task choosing between Politologue and Cyrname in the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase.

The former, who finished fourth in the the three mile King George VI Chase last time, is an established top flight campaigner while Cyrname earned a crack at the valuable prize by winning an Ascot handicap by 21 lengths last time.

"Politologue loves Ascot and going right-handed." said the trainer. "He didn’t quite stay in the King George. He got a little bit out of his ground after he made a mistake at one of the fences down the back and then he was on the back foot all the time.

"He looked like finishing third jumping the last and then got outstayed by Native River. It looks to me like middle distance is what he likes so two and a half miles is probably ideal for him."

"He will go to the Ascot Chase and have every chance. He will get a good gallop and hopefully he won’t end up in front too soon because he always idles a bit in front and the idea after that is to go for the Ryanair Chase and onto Aintree for the two and a half mile race he won last year.

"Harry will have a tough decision next week deciding which to go for. My gut feeling would be if Politologue is going to the Ryanair you stick with him because the other horse won’t go there. He can always get back on Cyrname if he doesn’t ride him.

“There is no point making a decision till next week but there is not a lot between them. Cyrname did look like a Grade One winner waiting to happen the way he won the other day.”

Nicholls said Sean Bowen was likely to ride Cyrname if Cobden opted for his stablemate.

“Cyrname hasn’t been the easiest to train but in the last three months he has settled down enormously. He was a tearaway. We can train him normally and that may have brought the improvement out we had the other day," he added.

“That was a huge performance at Ascot to win as far as he did off that mark. So he’s off to the Betfair Ascot Chase where the two miles five will suit him. Obviously it’s a step up in class but he loves going round that track. I’d say he’d have every chance and look forward to him running.”


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