Bristol De Mai lifted a third Betfair Chase with a gutsy performance in testing conditions at Haydock on Saturday.
?? The silver coated King Of Haydock!— Haydock Park Races (@haydockraces) November 21, 2020
Bristol De Mai joins the greats Kauto Star and Cue Card as a three time winner of the Grade 1 @Betfair Chase for @Dazjacob10 and @NigelTwistonDav ??#BetfairChase pic.twitter.com/vj0ZDH22T9
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ popular grey thrives at the Merseyside circuit and had won this Grade 1 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.
An overjoyed 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 [owners] 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.”
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.
He said: “The rain today didn’t help him at all. On that heavy ground, he didn’t truly get that [distance]. 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."
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.”
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