Altior’s Unbeaten Record Smashed

More history in a colourful race

Cyrname beat favourite Altior to win the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot.

The 5-2 second favourite, ridden by Harry Cobden and trained by Paul Nicholls, led the near two-and-three-quarter-mile race from start to finish.

Ascot Twitter feed

Winning trainer Paul Nicholls gives the thumbs-up (Pic: Ascot Racecourse -Twitter)

Unbeaten Altior (1-3) was unable to respond when Cyrname made a run for home with three fences remaining.

The other runner, Solomon Grey, trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by Harry Skelton, trailed in the opening stages as the head-to-head unfolded.

The meeting between Cyrname and Altior was one of the most hotly anticipated showdowns in recent memory, likened to the classic rivalry between Kauto Star and Denman.

Altior, ridden by Nico de Boinville and trained by Nicky Henderson, had been heavily backed, with punters expecting the nine-year-old to make it 15 wins from 15.

Unbeaten Altior usually takes command from the front but, after stepping up to a new longer distance, was not allowed to do that by seven-year-old Cyrname, who then turned that advantage into victory with a devastating late burst.

“I am absolutely delighted. To be honest, I was disappointed halfway round as I was thinking he wasn’t travelling as well as he should have been. But we got the job done,” Cobden said.

“I could hear him (Altior) every step of the way, which is why I wanted to stride on down the back and outstay him, which is what we have done really.”

The win was another notable piece of history in a race that already has big names such as Wayward Lad (1981), Deep Sensation (1992) and Master Minded (2010-2011) on its roll of honour.

This first encounter could be the start of a rivalry between Cyrname and Altior that could take them both to National Hunt’s Christmas showpiece, the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

  • www.bbc.com

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