Chad Yeomans assesses what this weekend's racing could mean for the chances of Cyrname, Cilaos Emery and Copperhead at the Cheltenham Festival.
Ascot was silenced on Saturday when Cyrname took a laboured fall at the last in the Ascot Chase and took a bit of time to get back to his feet.
The cheer and applause when he did recapture his breath was superb and showed a real unity among the racing community.
However, in the race, he didn’t look the same horse coming down the back straight. His jumping wasn’t as electric as it has been, and he didn’t move as fluently as he has done.
In all honesty, it was the sort of performance that I had expected him to put in at some point. He’s good, but there remains a huge doubt about whether he’s the best chaser in training.
Cilaos Emery, who I’ve long fancied for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, looks set to be rerouted to the Champion Hurdle following his success sin the Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park on Saturday.
A lot has been said about horses that look impressive in ground as deep as what he encountered but, in better conditions and in a race with faster pace, he’s got a huge chance in an open-looking contest.
He is currently a NRNB shot.
The Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot fell apart with both Sam Brown and Pym pulling up in what gruelling conditions for a novice.
Copperhead, who has improved no end this season, absolutely routed his tired rivals after being given an absolute peach of a ride by Jonjo O’Neill Jr.
He’s now got a choice between the RSA and the National Hunt Chase at the Festival.
I’d probably side with the latter – for which he is currently – as I think he just lacks that touch of top-class ability that it takes to win the RSA.
There was a lot of interest in the debut of Ballyadam in the bumper at Navan on Sunday. Any horse with that expensive a price tag will always attract plenty of attention.
He was clearly the best horse in the race whose best days are in front of him and, despite getting beaten, he’ll be winning plenty of races on better ground next year.
This week’s honourable mention goes to Kachy, who lost his life at Lingfield Park on Saturday.
He was a superb speedster, who gave his connections some amazing days, including when winning the Betway All-Weather Sprint Championship on Finals Day for the past two years.
Everyone at Betway sends their condolences to his connections and we will all remember him for the wonderful horse that he was.
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