Messi and Ronaldo, Federer and Nadal, Fury and Joshua – fans of these sports will have their own opinions on who is better. Horse racing followers have their equivalent in Altior and Cyrname, and the two highest-rated chasers in Britain look set to do battle at Ascot on Saturday in a tantalising renewal of the Grade 2 Christy 1965 Chase.
Top Notch, Solomon Grey and Keeper Hill make up the field this weekend, but on all known form this looks a match between the aforementioned Altior and Cyrname.
Below, we have delved deeper into the careers of Altior and Cyrname, providing you with the facts and figures to bear in mind before the duo – hopefully – line-up on Saturday.
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Official Rating: 175
Career Wins: 20
Best RPR: 183
Best Topspeed: 169
Total Earnings: £1,234,751
· An absolute superstar, Altior is currently the world record holder with nineteen consecutive jump wins to his name – a sequence that stretches back to October 2015.
· Has proven his tenacity and versatility during that period, gaining his total of twenty career victories on seven different tracks – including two Ascot wins.
· Runs well fresh and his partnership with jockey Nico de Boinville is a particularly potent one.
· Yet to race beyond 2m2f, so is going into unknown territory in regard to his stamina.
· His last two runs on right-handed circuits – including in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at this venue – have seen him jump out markedly to his left on more than one occasion.
· Officially rated a pound inferior to Cyrname, and he meets that rival on level weights.
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Official Rating: 176
Career Wins: 6
Best RPR: 181
Best Topspeed: 162
Total Earnings: £225,774
· The new kid on the block, Cyrname has run out a facile winner at this venue the last twice – landing a Grade 1 by seventeen lengths when last seen in February, so the track clearly suits.
· The switch to front-running tactics has paid dividends the last twice, and those tactics should prove beneficial in this small field.
· Improving at an exponential race when last seen, and his yard has won four of the last eight renewals of this contest.
· Yet to face a rival of anywhere near the same level of class as Altior.
· Form figures when returning from an absence of 90-days or more currently read an underwhelming 5673, and Paul Nicholls’ horses have tended to need their comeback runs this season.
· Questionable whether he truly deserves his current rating of 176 and will likely have to run right up to it to beat Altior.