ALTIOR suffered his first defeat over jumps as Cyrname ran out a brilliant all-the-way victor in the Grade 2 Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot.
Unbeaten in 19 previous starts over hurdles and fences combined, Nicky Henderson’s dual Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Altior was all the rage to make it 20 wins on the spin, with his army of supporters ensuring he went off a heavily-supported 1/3 favourite.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Cyrname ended last season as the highest-rated chaser in Britain – 1lb above Altior – following two wide-margin wins over this course and distance, but was relatively easy to back at 5/2.
With the only other runner Solomon Grey never a factor, it was a two-horse race from the off, with Harry Cobden sending Cyrname straight to the lead and Nico de Boinville sitting on his tail aboard Altior, who was racing over further than two and a quarter miles for the first time.
As the pace increased racing down the back straight, it was Cyrname who produced the slicker leaps, and De Boinville was the more animated of the two riders before the home turn.
Altior did his best to bridge the gap in the straight, but Cyrname refused to let up and a flying jump at the final fence sealed a two-and-a-quarter-length success.