Altior will not be taking on Britain’s highest-rated jumper in Saturday’s Celebration Chase at Sandown Park after Paul Nicholls announced Cyrname is a non-runner.
The duo had been down to collide in the two-mile Grade One contest on the final afternoon of the jumps season, but Nicholls feels the ground is going to be too quick for his rising star.
Altior can smash the record held by Big Buck’s – Nicholls’ former supremo – if he makes it 19 consecutive wins over jumps on Saturday.
Nicky Henderson’s unbeaten jumper matched the record last month with his gallant success in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
He’ll bid to win Sandown’s Grade One finale for the third time in his career but won’t be taking on Cyrname.
The Ditcheat inmate romped to a 17-length victory in the Grade One Ascot Chase over two miles and five furlongs in February, enough to see him achieve a BHA rating of 178, 3lb superior to Altior.
Having skipped the Cheltenham Festival, Nicholls was seemingly keen to tackle Altior despite dropping Cyrname back to two miles, but that clash is now off.
Cyrname could still appear at Sandown on Saturday, if enough rain is forecast, in the Oaksey Chase over two miles and six furlongs, the champion trainer-elect suggests.
Nicholls tweeted: “With the ground good, good to firm in places, (I) have not declared Cyrname in the Celebration Chase on Saturday Sandown Park.
“Will re-visit that (Oaksey Chase option) tomorrow morning depending how much rain is forecast overnight Friday into Saturday.”
An Altior-versus-Cyrname clash, however, may have to wait until Kempton in December.
Odds subject to change.