The superb success of Cyrname in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday has opened up some exciting options for him in the months ahead.
Although he’d done plenty of work home I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because he hadn’t been away for a racecourse gallop in contrast to last year when he did a stunning gallop at Wincanton before beating Altior at Ascot.
That was my only concern because I did think he would probably stay three miles and I didn’t share the view that racing left handed was an issue for him. The fact is that Cyrname has grown up and matured from those early days when he was twice beaten over fences going left handed. Back then he wanted to do everything flat out and until recently we always had to work him on his own because he could be an idiot. But his days as a tearaway are long gone and he breezed upsides Black Corton early in the week.
Even so I was blown away by the totally professional style of his victory at Wetherby. He was cruising the whole way, jumping for fun, eased to the front without being asked a question and could not have been more impressive. It was a perfect comeback and showed just how good he is. With our plan to take him to Down Royal on Saturday ruled out by protocols in place because of COVID-19 we could have run him in a handicap at Ascot where we know he excels.
But Johnny de la Hey and I both felt that Cyrname would answer more questions at Wetherby in a strong renewal of the Charlie Hall over three miles. The manner of his triumph left us looking eagerly at a tilt at the King George V1 Chase before a crack at the Gold Cup.
He needs space between his races, and the good news is that we have lots of time before starting to build him up for Kempton on Boxing Day. That would be the sensible thing to do. Horses that win the Charlie Hall have gone on to triumph in the Gold Cup and now that Cyrname is so much more settled I don’t see why he shouldn’t go to Cheltenham as he stays all day and Harry Cobden said he galloped all the way to the line, and what a ride Harry gave him out of the top draw.
Clan Des Obeaux, winner of the King George for the past two years, goes for the Betfair Chase ahead of Kempton while Real Steel will make his debut for us at Ascot in three weeks time in the race Cyrname won last year.
Of our other stars Topofthegame returns in the Ladbroke at Newbury and Frodon is likely to head to Aintree for the Many Clouds Chase on the first Saturday in December.
Earlier at Wetherby I was thrilled with the run of Next Destination on his debut for the yard in the staying hurdle. Having not raced for over 900days he has obviously had his problems and I’ve been training him with the handbrake on a bit as I didn’t want to overdo things after such a long absence. Harry said he took a bit of a blow three out before taking off again and finishing an excellent second to Roksana. There should be massive improvement to come from Next Destination who was right as rain on Sunday morning. He is going over fences now and I will look for a suitable novice Chase for him, possibly at the Ladbroke meeting at Newbury.
With the team in full flow we have another busy week ahead with Greaneteen declared for the Haldon Gold Cup on Tuesday at Exeter where Enrilo also runs in the novice Chase.
Then we have our usual big day at our local course Wincanton on Saturday with a serious squad of runners including Present Man and My Way in the Badger Ales Chase, Solo in the Unibet Elite Hurdle and Grand Sancy in the Rising Stars Chase.
We will also have entries at Aintree on Saturday and Sandown on Sunday so for the latest news on all my runners please turn to my Betfair column on Friday.