BRISTOL DE MAI TO MISS GOLD CUP AND GRAND NATIONAL
Bristol De Mai rarely runs two races the same of late but when he is right he is clearly a way above average chaser, and it is all too easy to forget that the grey is a mere youngster in chasing terms at the age of seven. When he powered home by fifty-seven length at Haydock in the Betfair Chase from Cue Card we all thought we had seen the best performance from any chaser in many a year, yet he failed to follow up at Kempton in the King George or last time out at Cheltenham when beaten ten lengths in the Cotswold Chase.
We can now reveal for the first time that Bristol De Mai will, as things stand, miss both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National (despite what others will have you believe), and will head to Aintree for the Betway Bowl over three miles and a furlong.
He has had a breathing operation to help his wind since his last run which will hopefully aid him in future races, and his owners have decided to take a very different route to that expected, as we found out courtesy of a phone call from Nigel Twiston-Davies himself this morning (Monday).
Bristol De Mai’s age may well be part of the decision-making process with so many more years ahead of him granted the obligatory luck with injury, so why rush him in to races that don’t suit him perfectly just yet, when there are other rich pickings to be had.
He did run in the same race when fifth last season so he has experience of the track and the trip to call upon, and although last season saw the winner take home a decent prize of £84,365, it is generally less well contested than the Cheltenham Gold Cup while avoiding any risk of the handicapper’s wrath as a level weights Grade One, which really ought to see him in his element.