Regular readers will know how much I think of Bristol De Mai. Many experts believe he is a horse who cannot replicate his exceptional Haydock heavy ground form elsewhere, nor even go close to doing so. I’m of the opinion that, given the right circumstances, he can. Not only that, I believe he is not significantly ground dependent.
Why then has his form been so inconsistent?
Who knows? On Thursday we will find out if what the horse has needed all along is sufficient time to recover from tough races. I suspect this might be the key, and have done since his comparatively poor run in the King George, which came four weeks after his 57 length victory in heavy ground in the Betfair Chase. There is no way of knowing how that history-making success affected the horse or how much it took out of him. Most trainers are optimists and Nigel Twiston-Davies who trains Bristol De Mai is at the top of the optimism charts. Nigel believes horses are for racing rather than standing in a box.
I had backed Bristol De Mai for the Gold Cup and was praying that Twister would avoid the Cotswold Chase with the grey. Again, regular readers will know that I consider that race a graveyard for Gold Cup hopes (Definitly Red added himself to the list this year, despite his trainer saying he had come out of the race absolutely fine). Conversely, Nigel Twiston-Davies took Bristol De Mai, (who finished a gallant but knackered third in the Cotswold) out of the Gold Cup about three weeks prior to the race – an almost unheard of move for the trainer, especially as the grey was his only possible runner at that stage. Bristol De Mai must have been showing very obvious signs of fatigue or some other ailment for Twister to take him out of the race at such an advanced stage. I see he has also had wind surgery.
Anyway, I think the horse ran a much better race than he was given credit for in the 2017 Gold Cup on good ground. He’s still only 7. I believe he has the talent to beat Might Bite and on Thursday we will find out. If I’m wrong, I’m hoping to find out cost-free in that he’ll be second or third in the eight-runner race where I’ve backed him each way.
William Hill offer 6/1 via Oddschecker although I could not find the race on their site. Nor could it be found by clicking on the Oddschecker link. Ladbrokes are advertising 11/2 and I advise you to back the horse now each way with them as he should be shorter come Thursday.
“I strongly recommend” (see here) – backing Bristol De Mai each way with Hills – if they will lay it at 6/1 – or with Ladbrokes at 11/2 to win the Betfair Bowl.
Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.