Harry Cobden admits no straightforward pick between Paul Nicholls pair in Ascot Chase but keeps faith with Cyrname

HARRY COBDEN is keeping the faith with Cyrname despite his King George flop.

The Paul Nicholls star heads the betting for Saturday’s Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase despite his Kempton no-show.

He’s set to take on stablemate Master Tommytucker and eight other possibles including Lostintranslation and Saint Calvados.

Cyrname won the race in 2019, but suffered a shock defeat in the 2020 renewal.

Cobden, 22, hopes the pair can bounce back but admits it wasn’t a straightforward decision to pick Cyrname over Master Tommytucker.

He said: “It was quite a tough decision. But the thing is Cyrname has been to Ascot and he’s done it.

“Master Tommytucker is a really good horse on his day. He’s starting to get his jumping together and I was really impressed with him the last time at Kempton.

“I’m sure he’ll go a good gallop out front and he’ll be hard to pass, he’s not slow and he wouldn’t be one to hand a five length lead.

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“If he turned up and absolutely blew them away it wouldn’t surprise me as he’s got a serious engine in there.”

After last week's freeze-up, rain is forecast for much of this week. But Cobden is confident Cyrname will cope with tough conditions.

Betfair Ascot Chase

Sponsors Bet

6/4 Cyrname

7/2 Master Tommytucker

9/2 Saint Calvados

6/1 Kalashnikov, Lostintranslation

12/1 Dashel Drasher, Fanion d’Estruval

14/1 Benny King

25/1 Riders On the Storm

33/1 Terrefort

In a Great British Racing call, he added: “When Cyrname won this a couple of years back he was very, very good. It was the best performance I’ve ever ridden on a horse.

“He’s won on testing ground before so that shouldn’t be an issue.

“He’s more relaxed now, he doesn’t tear off. One of the obvious things for me to do is to change how I ride him and be more aggressive.

"We don’t necessarily have to make the running, but I don’t want an episode like in the King George where we got stuck.

“He’s the one to beat on paper but there are a few good ones in there, he’s the worthy favourite.”

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