Paul Nicholls: Cyrname looks in top order for Ascot

Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls
Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton are Paul's focus on Saturday
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Saturday is a big day for Betfair Ambassador as he sends runners to Ascot and Wincanton including best chance of the afternoon Cyrname...

15:35 - Cyrname: "I'm very happy with him and he looked in top order when I schooled him on Monday. He also had a nice away day at Wincanton without doing too much and you could say he is playing at home as he bids to repeat last year's success in the Betfair Ascot Chase at a track we know suits him so well."

Saturday is a big day for Team Ditcheat. We enjoyed seven winners on this afternoon a year ago and again have serious chances at all three meetings so I will be mortified if one or more cards are lost.


Cheltenham prospect is one for the future

13:50 - Danny Whizzbang

He is a talented horse who won a Grade 2 novice Chase at Newbury on his debut over fences before finishing third at Kempton where he was slightly caught out by his lack of experience. Danny is a strong stayer, loves soft ground and this track will suit him much better than Kempton where the emphasis is on speed. He has two entries at Cheltenham and we'll see how he goes in the Reynoldstown before making any firm plans as I very much see him as one for the future so the Festival next month might come a year too soon for him.

Refreshed and in with a chance

15:00 - Malaya

She didn't perform for some reason when she was below par last time at Sandown early in December but she has had a nice break since then and is fresh and well now. If she runs to her best she would have a good chance.

15:35 - Cyrname

The King George came a bit too soon for him after his great victory over Altior at Ascot where they both had hard races but he still finished second at Kempton and he has freshened up nicely after a little break at the start of January.


I'm very happy with Cyrname now and he looked in top order when I schooled him on Monday. He also had a nice away day at Wincanton without doing too much and you could say he is playing at home as he bids to repeat last year's success in the Betfair Ascot Chase at a track we know suits him so well.

Expecting another good run

16:10 - Easyrun de Vassy

He was beaten only a neck on his handicap debut at Taunton, and was unlucky last time when fourth at this track just before Christmas. He was bang there with every chance when he was tightened up on the last bend, clipped heels, stumbled and lost ground. But for that I think he would have gone close. I am expecting another good run from Easyrun de Vassy.

Nice prospect but can she handle the rain?

16:45 - Sabrina

She is a nice prospect who showed plenty on her debut when second in a bumper at Taunton late in October. I've been waiting and waiting for better ground before running her again but there is no sign of an end to the rain and if she does handle the conditions at Ascot she should have decent prospects of finishing in the money.


Improving and full of confidence

14:40 - Sir Psycho

He was denied a run at Exeter last Sunday by Storm Ciara and with doubts about the card going ahead there this Sunday I've switched him to the Victor Ludorum at Haydock. I was thrilled with the way he bolted in on heavy ground at Exeter on New Year's day by 31 lengths. An ex-flat horse, he has improved massively as he gets used to our training regime and heads to Haydock with his confidence high.

Conditions are perfect for this National chance

15:15 - Yala Enki

He has progressed nicely since joining us this season and won the Portman Cup readily at Taunton last time. He looks an ideal contender for the Grand National as he stays all day and I'm hopeful he can advertise his claims for Aintree with a decent show in this. Conditions are perfect for him.

Needs to finish first or second

17:00 - Alcala

He was a useful handicapper for us, rated 152 at his peak, and looked poised to win on his debut in a hunter Chase a month when coming down two out at Ludlow. He just over-jumped and crumpled on landing. I'm still hoping Alcala can qualify for the Foxhunters at Cheltenham so he needs to finish first or second in this and then do the same in a similar race next weekend.


Exciting debutant

13:37 - Solo

He is an exciting juvenile we bought from France after he won his second start over hurdles by an impressive fifteen lengths at Auteuil in November. That earned him a BHA handicap mark of 146. Solo has done everything we've asked of him since he joined us before Christmas, has schooled well and I am really looking forward to see how he goes on his debut for us.

Hopefully he can bounce back

14:12 - Saintemilion

He disappointed last time at this track when I thought he would go close and I blame myself for running him too quickly after he was only just beaten at Wincanton on Boxing Day. I am now stepping Saintemilion back up in trip to two -a-half miles, he handles testing ground and I am hoping he can bounce back in this.

Chance to add to fine record

14:45 - Quel Destin

I was thinking of keeping him for the National Spirit at Fontwell next Sunday but Harry Cobden is banned that day and the horse is bouncing after his excellent defeat of Call Me Lord at Sandown. So with testing conditions at Wincanton ideal for Quel Destin it makes sense to let him take his chance in the Kingwell. He is tough, genuine, and so consistent he has sound prospects of adding to his fine record.

Ready to win

15:23 - Storm Arising

He ran really well at Wincanton on Boxing Day when he may have hit the front a bit too soon. He is knocking on the door, ready to win one of these handicap hurdles and with Lorcan Williams' claim taking off a handy 3lbs he could well get his head in front here.

Can he complete a course hat-trick?

16:32 - Worthy Farm

He is improving race by race, is really getting it together this season and stays so well he could be a candidate for the Coral Welsh National in December. Worthy Farm has won on his last two starts at Wincanton, was impressive at the track last time and must have a decent chance of completing the hat-trick off an 8lbs higher mark.

Needs to show his true form

17:07 - Ostuni

He ran no sort of race at Plumpton on Monday when he was eventually pulled up by Harry Cobden. Nothing came to light afterwards so I am turning him out again quickly in the hope that he can show his true form.


Paul's Best Chance on Saturday: Cyrname (15:35 Ascot) - "He has plenty in his favour back at Ascot."

Paul Nicholls,

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