Paul Nicholls would relish a clash between Altior and Cyrname in the Christy 1965 Chase.
The Nicholls-trained Cyrname finished last season as the highest-rated horse in Britain following his 17-length demolition job at the Ascot Chase in February, with his mark of 176 placing him 1lb apparent of Nicky Henderson’s dual Champion Chase hero Altior, who is unbeaten in 19 starts over jumps.
Henderson has raised the possibility of Altior being stepped up in trip this expression – using a tilt in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day that a possible goal – and Cyrname is also jump for the showpiece over three kilometers.
The pair could lock horns in a two-mile-five-furlong Grade Two at Ascot.
Nicholls told Sky Sports Racing:”One has form more than two (miles) from Altior and this particular horse has kind within two-five. It will be some clash should they meet in Ascot.
“He (Cyrname) does not need to rush from the front, but it satisfies him . Kempton is a track that is front-runners if you jump and gallop and he is marginally.
“He is a high-class horse who will hopefully keep going ahead, (but) he has to have three miles yet. It’s a bit like Altior – it is great being able to gallop and receive two-mile-five and also he (Cyrname) suggested at Ascot he can have 3, but before they actually do it you don’t know for certain.”
Altior is the general 3-1 favourite with Cyrname, for its King George and his stablemate Clan Des Obeaux – winner of the Boxing Day highlight season – next in the list in 6-1.
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