Cyrname heads the market in this year's Betfair Chase renewal, despite failing to live up to expectations 12 months ago.
"The return to Ascot and the drop back to 2m5f has certainly intrigued plenty, and Cyrname currently heads the market at 2/1."
Last year's Betfair Ascot Chase performance was nothing but disappointing for Cyrname. Having gone off as short as 4/11, Cyrname fell at the final fence, although it's safe to say the nine-year-old was already beaten.
The winner on that occasion, Riders Onthe Storm, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, came out on top of the four-runner field and will look defend his title, albeit as one of the outsiders at 25/1.
However, rewind 12 months from that defeat and it was a very different outcome for Paul Nicholl's horse.
Cyrname waltzed clear of the field on that occasion, beating Waiting Patiently by 17 lengths, before going on to beat Altior eight months later over course and distance in the Christy 1965 Chase.
After that final fence fall last year, Cyrname was off the track for 259 days, before entering and winning the Charlie Hall Chase last October over the extended 3m by two lengths.
With a strong performance under his belt, it was a surprise to see Nicholls' horse run so poorly in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, having never really travelled well before eventually pulling up four out. The yard had no explanation for the poor performance, despite being well fancied at 5/2.
However, the return to Ascot and the drop back to 2m5f has certainly intrigued plenty, and Cyrname currently heads the market at 2/1.
Dashel Drasher, who won a Handicap Chase at Saturday's venue last month, is one of four previous course and distance winners in the field, having beaten Dan Skelton's Benny's King, will both go head-to-head once again on Saturday afternoon.
However, the one which has received some support is Fanion D'Estruval, who finished nine lengths behind First Flow in the Clarence House Chase last month. Venetia Williams' six-year-old finished ahead of Defi Du Seuil on that occasion, which clearly saw him enter a few notebooks after that run.
Although there is plenty of recent winners and course specialists lined up for this year's Betfair Chase, it is Cyrname who is expected to deliver a performance similar to the one in 2019 on Saturday.
Betfair Spokesman, Barry Orr, commented today: "This is the race that really announced Cyrname as an exceptional talent when he ran out a 17L winner in 2019 and 2/1 looks a fair reflection of his chance following his disappointing run in the King George."
"At 12/1, we have already seen some support for Fanion d'Estruval and he could be an interesting runner."