Paul Nicholls Exclusive: Harry Cobden will ride Cyrname in the King George

King George VI contender Cyrname
Cyrname will be ridden by Harry Cobden in Boxing Day's King George VI Chase

Harry Cobden has decided to ride Cyrname in Boxing Day's King George VI Chase while last year's winner Clan Des Obeaux will be ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, says Paul Nicholls...

"But we were both delighted by the way Cyrname won at Ascot last month and he is the highest rated chaser in training on a handicap mark of 177 after his defeat of Altior."

Harry Cobden will ride Cyrname in the King George V1 Chase on Boxing Day in preference to last year's winner Clan Des Obeaux. He will now be partnered by Sam Twiston-Davies who schooled him on Thursday morning.

I didn't envy him his choice as I know he feels strong loyalty to the owners of Clan Des Obeaux given that Ged Mason is his sponsor and Paul Barber has always supported him.

I simply advised Harry to put all emotion aside and go for the horse he felt had the best chance and I can't say I was too surprised when he told me of his decision after both horses worked this morning (Saturday).

Obviously he wanted to check that they were both in good order before picking Cyrname and I've now informed the owners involved who are all big supporters of the yard and are looking forward to a great day at Kempton.

No easy decision

While Harry has had plenty of time to think it over I know he didn't find it easy to overlook the horse who gave him the greatest success of his career in the King George twelve months ago.

But we were both delighted by the way Cyrname won at Ascot last month and he is the highest rated chaser in training on a handicap mark of 177 after his defeat of Altior.

That is 8lbs higher than Clan Des Obeaux who has come on a bundle for his seasonal debut when he finished runner up to Road to Respect in a Grade 1 race at Down Royal.

I couldn't be happier with both horses and fingers crossed things stay that way until Boxing Day as I seek my 11th win in the race.

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