The best result by far on Saturday was the sight of Cyrname getting to his feet and walking away after a heavy fall at the final fence in Ascot’s Betfair Chase.
There was understandable concern as he lay winded for a while and it was heartening to hear the great reception from the crowd as he was led back past the packed stands by his lad Rodrigo Zanchi. Moments like that show how precious he is not only to us but everyone. They do care and appreciate these good horses.
The vets were with him straightaway and were brilliant, calm and professional.
Cyrname was a bit stiff and sore on Sunday morning and will have plenty of time to get over it because he may not be running again this season, but we will discuss all options with Johnny de la Hey.
We will run some tests and try to poinpoint why he was some way off his best. There was something not quite right and I’m not sure what it is. I wasn’t entirely happy with the way he was travelling passing the stands with a circuit to go. He was beaten a long way out and was very tired when he came down. The ground was as testing as he has run on and some people are suggesting that it is all down to the hard race he had when he beat Altior earlier in the season but I don’t agree with that theory.
Cyrname had bloomed in the last three weeks, everyone was happy with him and he looked amazing in the paddock. But something was physically missing with him and I can’t put my finger on it. Hopefully we will get to the bottom of it. He will be back.
We ended a roller coaster afternoon with three winners further advertising the fine recent form of the team.
Sir Psycho was really impressive in winning the Victor Ludorum Hurdle at Haydock. His jumping was mustard, he seems to love testing conditions and if it came up soft at Cheltenham we would have to look at the Triumph Hurdle for him.
Alcala did well to beat a smart hunter chaser at Haydock but needs to finish first or second in a similar race if he is to qualify for the Foxhunters. So does Bob & Co so the pair of them could run at Fontwell next Sunday, the last day of qualification.
At Ascot I was pleasantly surprised by the way Sabrina won the EBF mares bumper by a wide margin. We have given her plenty of time since her promising debut at Taunton and while I didn’t know if she would appreciate heavy ground she handled it fine and looks decidedly smart. Sabrina now heads to Aintree for the Goffs mares bumper on the opening day of the Grand National meeting.
On Friday Greaneteen completed a hat trick over fences without coming off the bridle at Fakenham. He has entries in the Arkle and Grand Annual at Cheltenham but could wait for Aintree. All options are open at this stage.
With Taunton’s card on Tuesday already off and other meetings in some doubt plans in midweek are up in the air but we will have plenty of runners at Kempton on Saturday and Fontwell a day later.
We have three or four in the £100,000 staying Chase, Solo runs in the Adonis Hurdle, Southfield Stone and Master Tommytucker could clash in the Pendil Novice Chase, while Bathsheba Bay and Eritage are possibles for the Dovecote Hurdle.
Quel Destin, who was denied a run at Wincanton by the weather, is set to run in the National Spirit at Fontwell though Harry Cobden is banned that day.
For all the latest news on my weekend runners please be sure to check out my Betfair column which goes live at 5pm on Friday.