Jumping showdown is weather dependent
The long-awaited showdown between Cyrname and Altior, set for Sandown next week, will only go ahead if the conditions are right, according to Paul Nicholls.
Cyrname is now the highest-rated jumper in Britain as BHA handicappers raised him to a rating of 178 after his performance in the Ascot Chase, back in February, when he romped home by 17 lengths.
That rating makes him three pounds higher than the mighty Altior, who last month captured his second Champion Chase in what was his fourth Cheltenham Festival win on the bounce. The pair are now set to meet at the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown on April 27, but Nicholls has warned his horse will only run if there is some ease in the ground.
He told the Racing Post: "Cyrname is fine. He hasn't run since he won at Ascot, but he looks great now," he said. "He was just a little bit flat a week or so ago but that's just him and he's back in full cry again now.
"The only option we have got is Sandown and that would be if the ground was right. We would like to see it slow, if it's fast there's no way he'll run again.
"We would look after him and look forward to him next season because the King George is his aim and we will work back from that. If we could go to Sandown, if the ground is soft enough, it would be interesting."
Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.