Ascot Chase Preview: Cyrname to reign supreme

Cyrname looks to enhance his winning run at Ascot on Saturday.
Cyrname looks to enhance his winning run at Ascot on Saturday.

Steve Chambers takes an in-depth look at Saturday's Grade 1 Ascot Chase, which has attracted seven entries and will see a mouth-watering duel between Cyrname and Riders Onthe Storm...

Cyrname ended last season as the highest-rated National Hunt horse in training thanks to a brace of runaway wins at Ascot. The Paul Nicholls-trained eight-year-old then kicked off his campaign by beating the previously unbeaten chaser Altior in the Christy 1965 Chase, so a return to the Berkshire venue will see the Ditcheat star look to extend his unbeaten run at Ascot to four races.

Those three wins at Ascot have been won by an aggregate distance of over 40 lengths, but the Nickname gelding failed to deliver away from the course last time out when he was trounced by stablemate Clan Des Obeaux in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park.

Beaten 21 lengths in the King George, Cyrname has been given a decent break to get over his Boxing Day exertions, and with such a fine record at the right-handed Ascot then it's no shock to see him installed as an odds-on favourite for Saturday's test, as he looks to retain the Ascot Chase crown, which he won by an emphatic 17 lengths last season.

While a return to his happy hunting ground will see Cyrname in his best light he will have to contend with the hugely exciting Riders Onthe Storm, who was an emphatic seven-length winner of a graduation chase in December, and the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained seven-year-old is a horse on a rapid incline and could prove to be a thorn in Cyrname's side.

Earning quotes of around 8/1 for next month's Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival following that facile Ascot win, Riders Onthe Storm has to improve again now stepped up into top-class company, and he will most likely look to track the front-running Cyrname, who will certainly set a fierce gallop from the flag fall.

Cyrname had a tough race in the King George, but ultimately struggled to see out the three-mile trip, so a drop back to his preferred distance of 2m 5f (his last three wins at Ascot have been over that distance) should see him bounce back to form. Admittedly, he may not be one to side with at the Cheltenham Festival - as he excels at right-handed tracks - but he looks to have excellent claims here, and Riders Onthe Storm may just lack that element of class to deal with the favourite.

Nicholls could be double-handed for Saturday's showpiece, and he could also unleash Frodon, who stormed to Ryanair glory at the Cheltenham Festival last season. 

Well beaten in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree and in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in his first two outings this campaign, Frodon catapulted back into the limelight by winning the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase over two and a half miles at Kempton Park last month. A 17-length third behind Waiting Patiently in the 2018 Ascot Chase, Frodon may have to play second fiddle to his stablemate Cyrname this weekend, as while he is a class act on his day this track may not suit him quite as well as Cheltenham.

Nicky Henderson last won this race in 2012 with Riverside Theatre, and the master of Seven Barrows is set to unleash a dual-pronged attack with Janika and Top Notch both entered and likely to chance their arm for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

The former kicked off the season with a fine win the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, but has since struggled to build on that West Country success. Switching between hurdles and fences, the seven-year-old was last seen finishing fourth of five behind Defi Du Seuil in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot, and a return to that venue on Saturday isn't likely to see him back to winning ways - despite a step back up in trip.

Top Notch is another that has been seen running over both hurdles and fences so far this season, and he kicked off the season with a brace of wins at Aintree over hurdles and at Huntingdon in the Peterborough Chase. But, while he makes more appeal that his stablemate Janika he was well beaten by Frodon at Kempton last time out, and it's hard to see him reverse that form.

A former Grade 2-winning novice chaser, Saint Calvados has not kicked on from his fine novice campaign over fences and as such it's hard to see him challenge here. A winner in handicap company at Cheltenham in October, he was then unable to lay a glove on Defi Du Seuil in the Grade 2 Shloer Chase on his second start of the season. He improved last time out when second to Oldgrangewood at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, but it appears that handicaps are the way to go with him, so a return to graded company will see him struggle to make the frame.

Not seen on the track for over 450 days, Gary Moore's Traffic Fluide could return at the weekend. A winner of the Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase last time he was seen at Ascot, he has won three of his last four outings. But, while he could be a potential horse to watch in the latter part of the Jumps season, it's hard to see him performing at a level to be a contender on Saturday, so that's why he is the outsider of the septet.

A fascinating renewal that will see the proven talent of Cyrname battle it out with the improving, unknown quantity in Riders Onthe Storm, but it's the former that may just bounce back to winning ways on a return to a track he has dominated at in recent times, and the Nicholls-trained raider can retain his Ascot Chase crown with aplomb.


Ascot Chase - Newbury, Saturday 15th February 2020 - back Cyrname at 1/2

Ascot Chase
Cyrname silk


The Cheltenham Festival
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Bet £19 get £66 in Free Bets

#AD New customers on mobile only. Stake min amount of £19 (odds 1.8 or greater) on any sporting event. Promotion available between 14/11/22 - 01/12/22. Max 4 x £10, 4 x £5, 1x £6 Free Bets credited on qualifying bet settlement on selected events. 1x claim per customer. Void, cashed out, partially cashed-out bets do not qualify. Each Way bets, system bets, and profit boosts are not permitted for qualifying bet. Free bets expire after 7 days of qualifying bet settlement. T&C’s Apply
Double the odds, any sport, any bet, any odds!
#AD 18+ Only valid for new registrations to Grosvenor Existing members do not qualify, Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token, Offer applies to Sport bets only. Max stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total). Customers have 60 days after registration to use the Odds Boost token. T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code SPTS365 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code R30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10/€10, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 & Get £35 In Free Bets + £10 Multiple
#AD 18+ Place a £10 bet on Horse racing at min. odds 1/5 (1.2) — get £35 in free bets + £10 free Horse Racing Multiples Bet. Only deposits via cards will qualify, Apple pay not valid on this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £10 + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) mobile only. £20 in FREE Bets (FB) as £10 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7 day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+.  T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets
#AD Offer includes a free £1 Race Index spread bet to try out our exciting 50-25-10 race markets. Place a £10 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 2 x £10 free fixed odds bets + 2 x £5 free Winning Favourites spread bets. Bet with live streaming on all racing and greyhounds! Ts&Cs Apply. 18+
£35 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only |
50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus
#AD 18+; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms.
Latest racing results
1stMr Barrowclough
3rdImperial Jade
1stL'Homme Presse
2ndInto Overdrive
Gowran Park
2ndArdera Ru
View All Today's Results