Last year’s race
- Winner: Politologue
- Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies
- Trainer: P F Nicholls
- Owner: Mr J Hales
- Age: 7 Weight: 11st 7lbs
- Starting Price: 5/4
- Season Form Figures: Seasonal debut
- Previous Best: 1st - JLT Melling Chase (Grade 1), Aintree (Apr 2018)
Altior vs Cyrname is likely to settle a few arguments after the latter-named was given a higher official rating for winning the Ascot Chase in February than the dual Champion Chaser who is unbeaten in 18 starts over hurdles and fences.
This is a race that Paul Nicholls has a fine record in winning it on five occasions in the last nine years, twice with Master Minded before the John Hales-owned pair of Al Ferof (x2) and Politologue and six times in all including Cerium in 2006. Nicky Henderson took it with Top Notch two years ago and he has an entry again but whether he will take on his stablemate, Altior, remains to be seen. That victory was giving his trainer a fifth success in this Grade 2 Chase following The Tsarevich (1983), Raymylette (1994), Iris Royal (2003) and My Petra (2008).
Watch Ascot live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd of November.
It’s been a good race for the favourite winning seven times in the last nine years including joint-favourites and at the five-day stage Altior was heading the market but he is a 9yo and only Al Ferof (his second win) has taken this prize for horses aged over eight since the 1970s. This will also be Altior’s first attempt at an intermediate trip and 11 of the last 16 winners had won over 2m5f before.
Of course the big two have the maximum penalty having won a Grade 1 at the course last season and just two of the last ten winners were unpenalised – Captain Chris and Albertas Run.
The roll of honour is littered with previous course winners and the big two have proven themselves at Ascot. Twice in Cyrname’s case by wide margins over this trip and Altior when winning the Clarence House Chase, though he did jump markedly left on occasions which some horses are prone to do here. Altior also won his only start at Ascot over hurdles.
At a glance summary
- The favourite
- Trained by Paul Nicholls
- Course winner
- Aged 9+
- Yet to win over 2m5f+