Big two face show­down in King Ge­orge

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - By NICK ROB­SON

A SE­LECT field of six will go to post for the Lad­brokes King Ge­orge VI Chase at Kemp­ton on Box­ing Day.

The two mar­ket lead­ers for the past month, Cyr­name and Lostin­trans­la­tion, head the field as both chase a sec­ond Grade One win in open com­pany.

Cyr­name has won each of his last three races - all at As­cot - and fa­mously ended Al­tior’s 19-race un­beaten streak last time out in the 1965 Chase.

Paul Ni­cholls’ new star is cur­rently the high­est-rated chaser in train­ing, on a 4lb higher mark than Colin Tiz­zard’s Lostin­trans­la­tion, who bagged a first top-level win in open com­pany last time out in the Bet­fair Chase at Hay­dock.

Both train­ers also have ex­cep­tion­ally strong sec­ond strings to their bow.

Ni­cholls fields last year’s race win­ner Clan Des Obeaux, but he will be part­nered by Sam Twis­ton-Davies this time as reg­u­lar pi­lot Harry Cob­den has opted to ride Cyr­name in­stead.

Tiz­zard’s classy sec­ond string is Thistle­crack, an­other for­mer win­ner of the race. He claimed the con­test as a novice in 2016, but has suf­fered in­jury is­sues in the in­terim, although he did fin­ish sec­ond in 2018. Both Tiz­zard horses ar­rive in good heart, with Lostin­trans­la­tion seem­ingly hav­ing no ex­cuses af­ter a per­fect first half to the sea­son

As­sis­tant trainer Joe Tiz­zard said: “Lostin­trans­la­tion has been ab­so­lutely fine and we have not missed a day with him at all.

“He has done all the work we wanted to do and goes into the race as we would like him.

“He showed last year he has the speed for two-and-a-half miles and he jumps and trav­els well, so there are no wor­ries about the track at all.

“It is only a small field, but a very com­pet­i­tive one and we are look­ing for­ward to the race.”

As for Thistle­crack, he chased home Pais­ley Park over hur­dles on his only out­ing to date this sea­son.

“He was sec­ond in this last year which was the best per­for­mance on rat­ings by any of our horses last sea­son,” Tiz­zard went on.

“He had a lovely school un­der Tom Scu­d­amore the other day and jumped very nicely. The own­ers were keen to have an­other go, as it has been a bril­liant race for him.

“This is prob­a­bly his last sea­son in train­ing and it would be nice to see him run well in the race again.”

Harry Cob­den rid­ing Cyr­name

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