Matt Chapman talks all things Cyrname, Kachy, Riders Onthe Storm, Oisin Murphy and Tom Marquand in his latest column

IT was meant to be all about Cyrname at the weekend, but in the end we were just all delighted he was still with us at the end of a gruelling Ascot Chase – but who or what has made my latest Good Bad Ugly column?

Let's find out…


Two jockeys and a training performance dominate the Good column this time around.

Yes yes I know it's the jumps season and people get very bored talking about Flat racing at this time of year. But the exploits of Tom Marquand in Australia and Oisin Murphy in Japan have been truly exceptional over the winter.

Marquand spent six weeks Down Under – he is due to go back in March – and banged in seventeen winners and some big prize money as well.

Champion jockey Murphy was topping the Japan Racing Association jockeys' table on 27 winners when he was last out there and also banged in a six-timer one day.

Both Murphy and Marquand are a credit to their sport and families. They are both everything champions should be. And they might well fight out the 2020 Jockeys' Championship. Murphy is the one to beat once again.

In the words of one old TV show – "Gladiators ready!"

Over jumps Nigel Twiston-Davies and his son Sam deserve a huge shout out for their efforts with Grade 1 winner Riders OnThe Storm, who might have been a lucky winner Saturday but still came out on top.

Don't forget that on his last two runs for Irish handler Tom Taaffe Riders OnThe Storm fell and was pulled up. The Twisty team have done well.

I still think he might be even better over the two miles of a Champion Chase rather than the Ryanair.


The weather has been a pain up the backside – and in some cases so much more serious than that – for most of us over the last few days, and I can't wait for a break after Cheltenham when I will take a few days off in sunnier US climes.

Ground conditions will of course be crucial at the Festival, and for those of us who fancy 2018 hero Native River to run a massive one once again in the Gold Cup the more rain the better.

The problem is just because it is wet now it doesn't mean it will be in one month's time!

This weekend I'm out in London after racing at Kempton with 'Mrs AK Chapman' because the incredible Claude von Stroke is in town. His music is on another level. Arguably his best work is 'The Rain Break', but a break in the rain is not what Native River fans want.

Perhaps those in charge of earthly climate in the heavens above could just control their wrath so no one gets hurt while softening the Cheltenham surface suitably for my big ante-post 25-1 chance. Otherwise I will be doing a rain dance!

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The side of racing some might call ugly was seen over the weekend with the nasty fall of Cyrname at Ascot and the sad passing of class sprinter Kachy.

Kachy suffered an injury that any horse in the world could be struck by whatever their life. Just like you or me could have a heart attack today. One of those things.

But you know what, Cyrname and Kachy turned from being ugly moments into beautiful ones.

Cyrname rose to his hooves with a huge Ascot roar from the crowd, while Kachy's passing caused an outcry of love and affection for the horse on social media.

Good can come from bad, and Kachy has not only given the sport some great moments on the track – he was much more than just an all weather machine ridden so brilliantly by Richard Kingscote – but has now been part of showing the wider world how much racing people love the animals involved. The simple truth is no one loves the horse more than racing people.

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