They were only three at the start, Saturday at Ascot in the 1965 Christy Chase (Gr2), but the media had already promoted the race as the first big clash of the 2019/2020 National Hunt season. The 9-year-old Altior (High Chaparral), undefeated in 19 races over the obstacles was back against the native of France Cyrname (Nickname), born seven years ago and bred by Xavier Lefeuvre, Stéphane Follain, Stéphane Guesdon and Eric Lecoiffier. Away for 280 days, the Frenchbred was the underdog of the duel because he is newer in the the chasing elite of the British Isles. However, over a distance of 2m5f, longer than usual for him, Altior was trying to push the limits. He probably found them. He shadowed Cyrname from the beginning, but finally his magic did not work, and he just kept on following to the post, which he crossed two lengths behind Cyrname.
The winning connections pocketdd € 35,500, just over a third of the € 99,000 promised to the winner of the Prix Georges Courtois Chase (Gr2), Sunday at Auteuil.
At Haydock Park, however, the Frenchbred Bristol de Mai (Saddler Maker), couldn’t keep up with the new chasing sensation Lostintranslation (Flemensfirth) and keep his crown in the Lancashire Chase (Gr1). The winner was promoted favouriote for the next Cheltenham Gold Cup straight after that.