Betfair Chase, Haydock, Merseyside
WHEN Bristol De Mai won his first Betfair Chase in 2017, he beat Cue Card 57 lengths, earning him the highest rating at the time in jump racing. On Saturday, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ grey returned to his favourite track to win the race for a third time.
The nine-year-old has never quite captured the imagination like other multiple Betfair Chase winners, such as Cue Card (also three) and Kauto Star (four), the only horse to have won it more often, probably because Bristol De Mai has never been as effective elsewhere; but he is the ultimate definition of horses for courses.
His last win away from Haydock was at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall over three years ago, when he was warming up for his first Betfair and his record is now five wins from six starts at the track – his only defeat coming to Lostintranslation a year ago.
Every year he turns up for Cheltenham and Aintree, but it never quite happens. It has been said that were the Gold Cup run at Haydock, he might be a multiple winner of that, too, but there may be something about the time of year as well. Although he won the Betfair on decent ground in 2018, he is even better in the mud and there was no shortage of that on Saturday.
His two main rivals, two-time King George winner Clan Des Obeaux and Lostintranslation, wanted better ground and it looked ominous for them when only five of the 12 starters in the handicap chase earlier in the afternoon finished – at long intervals – over the same distance.
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