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Bristol De Mai set for break before Cotswold Chase

Bristol De Mai will not run again before the Cotswold Chase at the end of January after sealing his third Betfair Chase success.

Having claimed Betfair Chase glory in 2017 and 2018, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained grey found Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation a length and a half too strong when bidding for a hat-trick 12 months ago.

But with conditions more demanding on Merseyside this time around, Bristol De Mai emphatically reversed that form to become the second three-time winner after Tizzard’s former star Cue Card, and just one short of Kauto Star’s record-breaking four wins.

Twiston-Davies did not make the trip to Haydock, but said on Monday morning: “He’s come out of the race 100 per cent, no bother at all.

“I was very pleased and delighted with him.”

With connections deciding against entering for the King George VI Chase at Kempton, Anthony Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, raised Wetherby’s Rowland Meyrick as a possible Boxing Day alternative in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s triumph.

However, Twiston-Davies confirmed he will go straight for the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham before either returning to Prestbury Park for the Gold Cup or heading to Aintree for the Grand National.

“We won’t run him over Christmas – he’ll go for the Cotswold Chase at the end of January. He won’t go for the Rowland Meyrick,” said the Naunton-based trainer.

“We’ll see how he goes in the Cotswold Chase. If he does really well he might go for the Gold Cup, otherwise he’ll go straight to the National.

“He looks as good as ever.”

Bristol De Mai records famous hat-trick in Betfair Chase

Bristol De Mai lifted a third Betfair Chase with a gutsy performance in testing conditions at Haydock.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ popular grey thrives at the Merseyside circuit and had won this Grade One contest in 2017 and 2018, before seeing his hat-trick bid derailed by Lostinstranslation last year.

Bristol De Mai firmly had his revenge on that rival this time, however, as he produced an impressive round of jumping in the hands of Daryl Jacob.

Prominent throughout, Bristol De Mai was in control turning for home as both Clan Des Obeaux and 7-4 favourite Lostintranslation lined up to challenge.

The latter dropped away tamely, leaving Clan Des Obeaux to test Bristol De Mai – but the nine-year-old had plenty in reserve and after clearing the last, he galloped all the way to the line to score by two lengths.

Following his previous Betfair Chase victories, Bristol De Mai went on to tackle the King George VI Chase at Kempton without success, but Anthony Bromley, racing manager for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, has a different Boxing Day option in mind this term.

He said: “We specifically didn’t enter him in the King George, so we might have to think what to do next. But we might have to run in a handicap – because what else can you do?

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“There’s the Cotswold Chase, but that’s not until the end of January – it’s a long time waiting until then, so the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby, something like that.

“It’s a shame there hasn’t been a crowd here today. Merseyside really takes to this horse.”

Bristol De Mai was springheeled in the Betfair Chase
Bristol De Mai was springheeled in the Betfair Chase (Mike Egerton/PA)

Jacob said: “He’s a real credit to the whole team.

“It was great – I was looking at the rain (forecast) all week up at Haydock. The heavens opened up a little bit before the first race, and I texted Simon and Isaac to say ‘I’ve never been so happy to ride in the rain’.

“It was ideal to have Bellshill up there. Obviously, getting a little bit older he’s getting a little bit cute, so I needed him up there at times to bring me along again.

“I think this is just the ideal track for him really – flat, left-handed, and he’s always at his best on those.”

Jacob pointed towards a certain race in April as being ideal for Bristol De Mai.

He said: “I’d love to see him in the Grand National.

“His jumping is very good – he’s brave when you need him to be, but as you could see down the back straight there, he was good and clever to pop them. I’d love to have one crack at him – he’s nine now, rising 10, so I suppose if there’s a year that’s going to be his it’s going to be this year.”

Paul Nicholls felt the ground had scuppered Clan Des Obeaux, with his charge having had a hard race ahead of his planned King George defence next month.

Clan Des Obeaux has a King George defence on his agenda
Clan Des Obeaux has a King George defence on his agenda (Steven Paston/PA)

He said: “The rain today didn’t help him at all. On that heavy ground, he didn’t truly get that three-two. Sam (Twiston-Davies) gave him a brilliant ride, but he was beaten by a mud lark and a real true stayer.

“I’m just thinking all the way what might have happened on better ground. He just could have done without all that rain as the ground has gone very heavy. The rain has beat him, but he has run a blinding race. It was an encouraging run for Kempton.

“Cyrname and him have had a role reversal. If you think Cyrname had a really hard race a year ago on this day and Clan has had a real hard race this time.

“He is a tough horse and I’d like to think he will be all right, but he knows he has had a race today. I’m thrilled though and it was a good run.”

Lostintranslation (right) beat Bristol De Mai last year, but disappointed in his defence
Lostintranslation (right) beat Bristol De Mai last year, but disappointed in his defence (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Connections of the Colin Tizzard-trained Lostintranslation also pointed to the ground taking its toll.

Assistant trainer Joe Tizzard said: “He never travelled on that ground. Robbie (Power) said after he jumped the first, he could feel he was hating it.

“Robbie has always said he’s a better horse on better ground and he finished last here in a novice hurdle one day. He did well to get round as he wants a bit more bounce in the ground.”

Betfair Chase Trends

Staged at Haydock Park racecourse the Betfair Chase Registered as the Lancashire Chase) is a Grade One race and is run over a slightly longer trip (3m1f). The contest is a fairly new one, being first run in 2005 and takes place in November each season.

Trainer Paul Nicholls has made the race his own, winning the decent prize 6 times in the last 12 years, including four times with Kauto Star, while in 2017 and 2018 we saw the popular grey Bristol De Mai land the pot twice and giving his trainer – Nigel Twiston-Davies – his third success in the contest. 12 months ago the Colin Tizzard camp fired in their fourth Betfair Chase winner when Lostintranslation beat Bristol De Mai.

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Here at Geegeez we are on hand with all the key stats ahead of the 2020 renewal – this year run on Saturday November 21st 2020.

 

Recent Betfair Chase Winners

2019 - LOSTINTRANSLATION (5/4 fav)
2018 – BRISTOL DE MAI (13/2)
2017 – BRISTOL DE MAI (11/10 fav)
2016 – CUE CARD (15/8 fav)
2015 – CUE CARD (7/4)
2014 - SILVINIACO CONTI (10/3)
2013 – CUE CARD (9/1)
2012 – SILVINIACO CONTI (7/4)
2011 – KAUTO STAR (6/1)
2010 – IMPERIAL COMMANDER (10/11 fav)
2009 – KAUTO STAR (4/6 fav)
2008 – SNOOPY LOOPY (33/1)
2007 – KAUTO STAR (4/5 fav)
2006 – KAUTO STAR (11/10 fav)
2005 – KINGSCLIFF (8/1)

Key Betfair Chase Betting Trends

15 Previous runnings
13/15 - Won over at least 3m (fences) previously
12/15 - Raced within the last 4 weeks
12/15 – Won by and Irish (4) or French (8) bred horse
12/15 - Placed in the top three in their last race
12/15 - Won a Grade One chase previously
11/15 - Raced at Haydock previously
10/15 - Officially rating of 168 or higher
10/15 – Favourites placed
8/15 – Aged 8 or older
8/15 - Winning distance - 2 ½ lengths or less
7/15 - Raced at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall last time out
7/15 – Won by a previous winner of the race
7/15 – Winning favourites
6/15 – Won their latest race
4/15 - Raced at Aintree last time out
The average winning price in the last 15 runnings is 5/1
The Paul Nicholls yard has won the prize in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 & 2014
The Nigel Twiston-Davies yard has won the prize in 2010, 2017 and 2018 
The Colin Tizzard yard has won the race in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2019

 

Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai set for Betfair rematch

Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai remain on course for a Haydock rematch after all five horses confirmed for Saturday’s Betfair Chase stood their ground at the declaration stage.

Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation denied the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai a hat-trick in a thrilling renewal of the Grade One contest 12 months ago – and is the narrow favourite to repeat the feat on his first start since finishing third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

Bristol De Mai could finish only ninth in the blue riband eight months ago, but can be expected to make more of a race of it on his return to Merseyside, where he has won four of his five starts.

Clan Des Obeaux was fourth behind Bristol De Mai in the 2018 Betfair Chase before going on to seal the first of two victories in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

The Boxing Day highlight is again top of the eight-year-old’s agenda, although trainer Paul Nicholls has been making bullish noises about his chances on Saturday.

Clan Des Obeaux is bidding to add to the Ditcheat handler’s haul of six Betfair Chase wins – four of those provided by the magnificent Kauto Star.

Clan Des Obeaux represents Paul Nicholls
Clan Des Obeaux represents Paul Nicholls (Steven Paston/PA)

Bellshill landed the Punchestown Gold Cup and the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown when trained by Willie Mullins.

However, the son of King’s Theatre lost his form last season and would be a surprise winner on his debut for Berwickshire-based Sandy Thomson at the age of 10.

The quintet is completed by Warren Greatrex’s outsider Keeper Hill, who does at least have the benefit of a recent outing, having finished fourth behind Clan Des Obeaux’s esteemed stable companion Cyrname in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby three weeks ago.

Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai poised for Betfair rematch

Last year’s one-two Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai are among 10 entries for the Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 21.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai claimed the Grade One prize in both 2017 and 2018, but was denied the hat-trick by Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation 12 months ago.

Lostintranslation disappointed when well fancied for the King George VI Chase at Kempton, but bounced back to finish a close-up third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – and the race sponsors make him the narrow favourite to successfully defend his Haydock crown.

Bristol De Mai was only ninth in the Gold Cup, but can be expected to be more of a force back on Merseyside.

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Nicky Henderson has entered his Gold Cup runner-up Santini, while Paul Nicholls has both dual King George hero Clan Des Obeaux and Topofthegame in contention.

Clan Des Obeaux was fourth in the 2018 Betfair Chase and is on course for a return to Haydock, with long-absent stablemate Topofthegame expected to instead head for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury the following week.

Nicholls said: “Clan Des Obeaux is in great form at home and will head for the Betfair Chase.

“Physically, he seems to have improved on years past. He is working hard and is on well schedule for Haydock.

Clan Des Obeaux is an intended runner in the Betfair Chase
Clan Des Obeaux is an intended runner in the Betfair Chase (Steven Paston/PA)

“Two years ago, we went to the Betfair Chase just to put our toe in the water to see if he could run in graded races and he ran a really good race. He then went on to win the King George.

“He will be ready to put up a good performance at Haydock – there is no point going there thinking he is going to need the run. He will be ready and then that is nice timing for him to go to Kempton again on Boxing Day.”

The Richard Hobson-trained Lord Du Mesnil will be an outsider, but is a dual winner at the track.

Saint Calvados is also in the mix
Saint Calvados is also in the mix (David Davies/PA)

“Lord Du Mesnil is in good form and the Betfair Chase is a possibility,” said Hobson.

“I haven’t been able to get a run into him yet this season. He has got some entries over the weekend, but we are yet to decide if he will run.

“The Betfair Chase may therefore come too quick, but he is entered and we will make a decision nearer the time.”

Bellshill (Sandy Thompson), Keeper Hill (Warren Greatrex) and Saint Calvados (Harry Whittington) are the other British contenders, with Henry de Bromhead’s A Plus Tard the sole Irish-trained entrant.

Race Histories 12: The Becher Chase

Hello Bud - age no barrier in the Becher

Hello Bud - age no barrier in the Becher

The Grand National fences have their first test of the season on Saturday, when the Becher chase is run over 3 miles 2 furlongs at Aintree. The race starts immediately after Valentines Brook, so is just shy of one and a half circuits of the National Course. Read more