Cheltenham Festival Day 1
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 1
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 2
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 3
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 4

Five Key Questions ahead of Altior v Cyrname

Cyrname is set to lock horns with Altior at Ascot on Saturday.
Cyrname is set to lock horns with Altior at Ascot on Saturday.

Ahead of a stellar weekend of racing at Haydock and Ascot, Alex Stearn looks at the five key talking points surrounding the action...

Will he stay?

Ascot. 14.05. Every set of eyes in the racing world will be on the start of the Christy 1965 Chase, and ready to see the answer of the question that everyone has been asking since it was documented that Altior will be stepping up beyond two and a quarter miles for the first time in his career. Will he stay? 

Remarkably, Altior heads into a contest without the billing of being the best horse in the race on ratings, according to the BHA, which is bordering on unbelievable. Handicappers have to react to performance, and rightly so otherwise the system wouldn’t work - but come on, how can a horse that has won his last 19 starts, including nine Grade 1’s, not be the highest-rated chaser in the country? Don’t get me wrong, Cyrname’s performance in the Ascot Chase over this course and distance was visually impressive and warranted an increase in his rating from 165, but to rate him higher than Altior, who hasn’t had a horse finish within a length and a half of him in four years is something quite extraordinary. 

If Cyrname is to prove his rating right, he won’t get a better opportunity than he has on Saturday, with race conditions strongly in his favour - a C&D that saw him put up his career best, going right handed, a small field which he can dominate knowing he stays the trip strongly and ground that has seen him produce his best performances to date.  Despite this, his record when fresh leaves a lot to be desired. After breaks of over 200 days, he’s never finished closer than third and has to buck that trend off the back of a 280 day lay-off. But, he’s never had to be prepared for a Grade 1 either so his master trainer could have him finely-tuned to show his true colours. 

However, his best is likely to come up short if we see the real Altior on his return. There aren’t enough superlatives in the world to describe Altior, and the fact connections want to add another trophy to what must be a rather substantial mantelpiece, shows just how much they believe in his ability. Nicky Henderson has said this week that he worries about the extra distance based on his work at home as he is electric on the gallops, but in a race, Nico de Boinville has often hinted that he’d stay, and that comes after he’s only had to ask for what we’ve seen as his top gear. He must feel that Altior’s reserves haven’t properly been stretched and that serves up a tasty proposition, if he can travel with his usual zest whilst being efficient in his jumping. His last visit to Ascot adds another question to an already intriguing contest given how he jumped markedly left-handed.

Cyrname only has one way of racing and that will put a marker on his back that Altior and Nico De Boinville can take aim at. If they are both travelling within themselves when swinging into the straight, we are in for an immense battle. Like much of the racing world, I can’t wait for this contest and the questions that it will answer, but a win for Altior would pose another of racing’s most common questions, where next?  

Five from five for Bristol De Mai?

There’s something about Haydock that brings out the best in Bristol De Mai, and he searches for his hat-trick in the Betfair Chase on Saturday. Before his success last year, he had looked like he needed Haydock and soft ground to be seen to his best, but he produced a another career-best effort to see off a previous Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in Native River. His trainer, Nigel Twiston-Davies, has always held him in the highest regard, and although he didn’t live up to his Haydock levels elsewhere, last year saw him repeat the form elsewhere. 

He fell early in the King George and then headed straight to Cheltenham for the showpiece, where he was an excellent third behind Al Boum Photo, when holding every chance two out before not quite staying on strongly enough up the hill. Aintree beckoned, but not in the Grand National after being lumbered with top weight, and he was beaten in the Betway Bowl by Kemboy - but that may have come too soon after Cheltenham. He bids to make it five wins from as many starts at the track tomorrow afternoon, but will need a five-star performance to do so. 

The new challenger to the staying sphere is Colin Tizzard’s exciting Lostintranslation. He looks to have stamina in abundance, and his novice chasing season saw him add a Grade 1 success to his name when comfortably beating the RSA Chase winner Topofthegame at Aintree. His trainer has top 3-mile chasers in abundance, and given the regard that he is held in, it would be no surprise to see him pose a pretty serious challenge to Bristol De Mai. Lostintranslation made his seasonal reappearance at Carlisle just under three weeks ago and put in a remarkable round of jumping, barely touching a twig on his way round before drawing clear whilst hard on the bridle after pinging the last. His jumping is an asset to be desired by many of his competition, but given how he sometimes gives the fences a bit too much daylight, he could lose valuable ground at the fences compared to his more seasoned, slicker rivals. 

Third in is Paul Nicholls’ fabulous Frodon, ridden by his partner in crime, Bryony Frost. The harmony between the pair is second to none, partly due to their fearless nature when attacking fences and the admirable fact they both wear their heart of their sleeve. He was highly fancied to make a winning return to action in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree before the sun took the emphasis off jumping after a number of fences had to be omitted. That rather sealed his fate, but would have put him spot on for this contest and despite lacking the potential of Lostintranslation and the form, to an extent, of Bristol De Mai, he may be the one that is overlooked in the market.

A demolition job, like his performance two years ago when beating Cue Card by 57 lengths, looks highly unlikely but the result looks set to be the same as of 2017 and 2018. Bristol De Mai has the class required for this contest, and with the risk that Lostintranslation may give his fences a bit too much air, he could well take a little bit of distance out of him, a potentially telling factor at the business end of the race. 

Does the Ascot Hurdle fit the Caps plans? 

If The Cap Fits makes his return from his summer break for Harry Fry in the Ascot Hurdle on Saturday, after what was a breakthrough season last year, culminating in his first Grade 1 success in the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree. Harry Fry will be hoping that he can continue where he left off, and develop into a contender for the Stayers’ Hurdle come March. He’ll be hoping to kickstart that bid by defending his crown in this race, though it’s worth noting that he arrived here last term with a run under his belt. However, the son of Milan has a good record when fresh, having only failed to make a winning reappearance on one of his three attempts. His career best came in the Liverpool Hurdle when he was attempting three miles for the first time, which is where his future surely lies, but he does have the tactical speed to cope with a stiff two and a half miles at Ascot, giving him strong claims of returning straight to the winners enclosure.

He faces off against an old rival in the form of Roksana, who finished a head back in second at Aintree, and the Skelton team will be looking for revenge. She heads into the contest having just failed to reel in Top Notch at Aintree two weeks ago, but will be a likely sort to have improved for that run and will pose a big threat. Nicky Henderson also throws Call Me Lord into the contest, who currently heads the market on receipt of weight from If The Cap Fits. He looked a typically smart French recruit for connections, who are often so successful with such types, from his first couple of starts on these shores, but hasn’t progressed quite as much since as those performances suggested were possible. He was scarcely seen last season - so must have had a set-back in his work - but would pose a threat if returning at his very best. Overall, Harry Fry’s charge rounded off last season with a career best and given the drop back in trip, it’s interesting him fitted him with cheekpieces again, as they may be key to outlining their expectations for him kicking off what could be a successful season. 

Ascot 14:40

Coral Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Ascot Hurdle)

  • 4YO plus, 6 Runners
  • Hurdle,Turf , 2m 3f 58y , Soft
  • Winner £56,950, 2nd £21,370, 3rd £10,700, 4th £5,330, 5th £2,680, 6th £1,340


IF THE CAP FITS emerged as a leading Stayers' Hurdle contender when denying Roksana over 3m at the Grand National meeting but he isn't devoid of speed, as he showed when landing this prize 12 months ago. He did have a run under his belt on that occasion, but has won fresh in the past and looks primed for another profitable campaign. Roksana lost little in defeat behind Top Notch at Aintree a couple of weeks ago, so will be a big threat again. Call Me Lord hasn't had much racing during the past 18 months but is blessed with the necessary talent to figure in the finish here.

Stats Filter

Course Winner
Distance Winner
Won Last Time Out
Ran Within 30 Days
Sort By Number
  • Sort By Number
  • Sort By Odds
  • Sort By RP Rating
  • Sort By Topspeed
Dark blue and yellow (quartered), striped sleeves
4 Tips
If The Cap Fits 231
Sean Bowen%
Harry Fry %
Age: 7
Weight: 11-6
Winner of five hurdle races and two NH flat races from 2m to 3m 1f on ground varying from good to soft. A winner at 7-1 in a Grade 1 hurdle race in the Group 1 Ryanair Stayers Hurdle at Aintree over 3m 1f (good) on his latest outing in April, beating Roksana by a head.CD.
OR: 160, RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Tipped By:
Daily Mail
Robin Goodfellow
The Sun
The Times
Rob Wright
Red, light green epaulets and sleeves, light green cap, red star
2 Tips
Le Patriote 196
R Johnson%
Dr R D P Newland %
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
Winner of six hurdle races from 2m to 2m 4f on good and soft ground. A winner at 20-1 in a Grade 3 hurdle race in the Group 3 Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock over 2m (good) on his latest outing in May, beating Project Bluebook by 1l.CD.
OR: 154, RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Tipped By:
Daily Express
The Scout
The Star
Jason Heavey
Beige, purple sleeves
Blu Cavalier 210
J J O'Neill%
Ali Stronge %
Age: 9
Weight: 11-0
He has won three hurdle races and a NH flat race from 1m 7f to 2m 4f on ground varying from good to heavy. Well beaten at 20-1 behind Younevercall when fifth of 7 on his latest outing in a Grade 2 hurdle race in the Group 2 bet365 Select Hurdle at Sandown over 2m 5f (good) in April.D.
OR: 142, RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Emerald green, dark green sleeves, dark green and emerald green quartered cap
3 Naps
8 Tips
Call Me Lord 259
Nico de Boinville%
N J Henderson %
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
Winner of five hurdle races from 2m to 2m 5f on ground varying from good to heavy. Third of 13 behind Malaya beaten 5l at 3-1fav on his latest outing in a Grade 3 hurdle race in the Group 3 Matchbook Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle at Sandown over 2m (soft) in March.BF.
OR: 160, RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Tipped By:
James Burn
RP Ratings
Steve Mason
Mel Cullinan
The Guardian
Ipswich Star
Matt Polley
Racing Post
Sheffield Star
Emerald green, red stars, red and yellow check sleeves, emerald green cap, yellow star
1 Tip
Lil Rockerfeller 42
J E Moore%
N B King %
Age: 8
Weight: 11-0
Has won five hurdle races and three chases from 2m to 3m on ground varying from good to soft. Beaten 9l by Ballyoptic when second of 7 at 3-1fav on his latest outing in a chase at Chepstow over 3m (soft) last month.CD, BF.
OR: 149, RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Tipped By:
Daily Mirror
Pink, royal blue chevron, halved sleeves, royal blue cap
2 Tips
Roksana 14
Harry Skelton%
Dan Skelton %
Age: 7
Weight: 10-13
She has won four hurdle races from 2m 3f to 2m 4f on ground varying from good to heavy. Beaten a neck by Top Notch when second of 5 at 11-10fav on her latest outing in a hurdle race at Aintree over 2m 4f (soft) earlier this month.D, BF.
OR: 151, RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Tipped By:
Daily Record
Garry Owen
Reading the racecard:
• 1 (5) = Horse number with the draw number in brackets.
• Number alongside the horse name is the days since the horse last ran.
• Numbers/letters under the jockey silk is the horse form with the most recent figure on the right. Numbers = finishing position (0 = finished outside the top 10), P = pulled up, F = fell, U = Unseated, B = brought down, R = refused, C = carried out, D = disqualified, HR = hit rails, L = left at start, O = ran out, S = slipped up, V = void race. A dash between figures indicates a year between the runs and a slash indicates a new season.
• % alongside jockey/trainer names = strike rate in last 30 days.
• Key to pointers: C = Course winner, D = Distance winner, CD = Course & Distance winner, BF = Beaten Favourite last time out, WS = Has had wind surgery since last run, LT = Longest Travellers, b = Wearing blinkers, b1 = Wearing blinkers for the first time, h = Wearing a hood, h1 = Wearing a hood for the first time, t = Wearing a tongue strap, t1 = Wearing a tongue strap for the first time, v = Wearing a visor, v1 = Wearing a visor for the first time, p = Wearing cheek pieces. OR = Official Rating. RPR = Racing Post Rating. Topspeed is a figure calculated using race times and the going to show how fast the horse can run.
Bet 50p to watch the race at

Can Jarvey put up a performance worthy of dining at the top table? 

Fergal O’Brien is a man in the finest of form since the National Hunt season kicked off, and he hasn’t shown any signs of that relenting recently, so everything he saddles looks worthy of a mention. One of his string looks to have an excellent chance of adding another winner to his tally for the year, namely Jarveys Plate. He’s due to be line up the in Graduation Chase at Haydock off the back of a clear career best on his seasonal reappearance last month. That came at Chepstow, when he was the outsider of the three up against the highly-touted Reserve Tank, and the near five-length gap he put between that himself and the favourite suggests that it wasn’t a fluke. Reserve Tank has since come out and boosted the form when winning a Grade 2 at Wincanton, and if that form is to be taken literally, then Jarveys Plate could well become a leading force in the novice chasing division. 

Midnight Shadow looks to be the one to give him most to think about stepping back up to a more suitable trip on his third start over fences. His first start saw him finish a distant third to two smart prospects at Carlisle over two miles last month, before returning to that C&D in a similar event last time out. Sue Smith’s charge was leading going over the last, but had a heavy fall, costing him what looked a certain success. The weight of the fall and the quick turnaround leaves a big question mark as to whether his jumping will hold up under pressure if his confidence has been affected, however. Activial attempts to regain his crown after being a fortunate winner of this contest last year. There was controversy surrounding the size of the fences at Haydock at this corresponding meeting in 2018, and he was a lucky beneficiary when his closest competitor fell when upsides at the last, allowing him to coast home for an easy success. The form of that can’t be taken literally, but given the experience he has and that he can still compete in these graduation chases, he can’t be written off. But, Ian Williams’ charge would need to have improved again to stop Jarveys Plate – who looks likely to put up a strong performance to give connections the chance to place him into graded company with confidence. 

Mullins or de Bromhead?

Henry de Bromhead is due to send Cheltenham Festival winner Minella Indo chasing after just one season over hurdles. He headed to Prestbury Park an unfancied 50/1 shot but saw out the stiff three miles of the Albert Bartlett to great effect, putting good distance between himself and the opposition, and subsequently proved that to be no fluke when following up in the Punchestown equivalent. 

The betting markets have only quoted him for the Stayers’ Hurdle come March, but connections have potentially put a stop to that with him in line to make his chasing debut at Gowran Park on Saturday. He was first seen in public winning a point-to-point in clear-cut style, suggesting that a bigger future could be forthcoming now chasing, and Henry de Bromhead will be hoping that a repeat success in March will be on the agenda. 

He looks likely to have a battle on his hands though, as Willie Mullins puts his star mare on the front line, namely Laurina. She excelled in two starts at this trip at the beginning of 2019, looking as if the world was her oyster, but connections dropped her back in trip for the Champion Hurdle - and that backfired, as she never was able to land a blow. Ruby Walsh was quoted to say that she is in fine form at home on ITV on Sunday, and given she is a strong and lengthy mare, fences could eek out more improvement. This promises to be an informative race over the intermediate trip of two and a half miles, and whatever each of the principals do, it won’t be the height of their abilities in this sphere. 

Today's Naps Table
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 £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets
#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 £20 + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) mobile only. £30 in FREE Bets (FB) as £20 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 £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 £30 in Free Bets
#AD New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable, and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. T&Cs 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 18+ Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply.  
Bet £10 Get £40 in Bonuses
#AD New 18+ UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. 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 £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Bet £10 Get £10 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
1stDuhallow Tommy
3rdPush The Button
1stWestern Diego
2ndSuttons Hill
3rdWill Do
1stRussian Virtue
2ndBridge Road
3rdEdgar Allan Poe
View All Today's Results