Grade One winner Cyrname, once the highest-rated chaser in Britain, is thriving in his new career after racing and delighted fans when he appeared at Blenheim Horse Trials.
The former Paul Nicholls-trained 10-year-old gelding, owned by Samantha de la Hey, retired from racing this spring. He joined Charlotte Alexander, who has had the likes of Denman, Earthmover and Saphir Du Rheu in their post-racing careers.
“He is absolutely brilliant – very relaxed and chilled – and such a professional horse,” Charlotte told H&H.
Cyrname, known as “Cyril”, earned his place as Britain’s highest-rated chaser following his staggering 17-length victory in the 2019 Ascot Chase. It was an accolade he franked later that year, when bringing Altior’s 19-strong winning streak to an end in the Christy 1965 Chase at the same course.
His first significant public appearance since switching careers was at Blenheim Horse Trials, where he and Charlotte took part in the Thoroughbred Dressage demonstrations with Louise Robson.
Charlotte credited five-star event rider Louise Harwood for starting off “Cyril’s” retraining so well.
“I sent him to Louise, just to help me – he is quite strong and I knew he needed flatwork education – I have a full-time job alongside eventing two horses this summer, and it was important to give him the best start,” said Charlotte.
“Louise is wonderful and has a lovely yard in Herefordshire. She has been instrumental in getting him to where we are now, which is really just the beginning of starting to compete.”
Louise did a few combined training shows with him, which he loved and showed beautiful manners on the lorry.
“I took him to Lyneham cross-country schooling the other day and he was absolutely brilliant,” said Charlotte, adding she hopes he will go eventing and she thinks he will be a front-running lead horse team chasing.
“He didn’t look at anything – we jumped skinnies on turns and he went straight into the water.
“He went to the Berkeley Team Chase to do the novice and I took him to Blenheim on his own and he’s the sort that falls asleep tied up to the lorry. I’d thought I might need a nanny, but he was lovely.”
She added he led from around the fifth fence at the Berkeley (“and was marvellous”) and is heading to the Warwickshire this weekend.
Charlotte said Cyril “absolutely loves jumping” and the retraining and flatwork is preparing him mentally and physically for the change of pace he will now enjoy it at.
“I’m hoping to field master from him,” said Charlotte, who also field masters from Grade One winner now intermediate eventer Saphir Du Rheu.
“I’m sure he will hunt. He is strong, but not stupid, and is such a sweet horse – he loves being cuddled and I think he really enjoys having one-on-one attention.
“He is lovely, I’m very excited about his future and for what we can do.”
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Credit: Retraining of Racehorses
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