Nigel Twiston-Davies has Bristol De Mai completely tuned forward of his bid for a fourth Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.
The gray has been a dominant power within the race for the previous 4 seasons, scoring again to again wins in 2017 and 2018 earlier than retaining his title final 12 months following a second-placed end behind Lostintranslation in 2020.
Haydock is often Twiston-Davies’ first port of name with the hugely-popular gelding, who has kicked off his marketing campaign within the race for the previous three years and can achieve this once more having not been seen since his Grand Nationwide run in Aintree.
The coach experiences the horse to have summered effectively and to be on the peak of health forward of his title defence on the weekend.
“He was right here in the summertime and he is been very comfortable,” he mentioned.
“He is in nice type, I could not be happier actually.
“He is simple to get match, that is the great thing about him and we’re all primed and able to go. The one 12 months we have been second was the 12 months we actually struggled, he had lameness issues and he did not get there fairly 100 per cent.”
There have been no such setbacks this time round and Twiston-Davies is hoping the 10-year-old’s health will show worthwhile when he takes on what appears to be a very aggressive line-up that features Henry de Bromhead’s Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up A Plus Tard.
“It appears as scorching as ever, however the one factor he all the time has in his favour is that he is a simple horse to get match. Will all of them be as match as he’s?” he mentioned.
“It is nice for the race and nice for all of us, let’s hope we will beat them.”
Bristol De Mai has a notably stable file at Haydock, along with his 2019 defeat within the Betfair Chase his solely loss on the observe in six runs.
“He likes to have the ability to boss races and it is a very uncomplicated observe, there are two lengthy straights and straightforward bends – he can simply get on the market and do his stuff,” Twiston-Davies defined.
“There is not any races for him at Newbury or locations like that however I am certain he’d be simply pretty much as good there, he was good round Wetherby. A flat observe the place he can actually boss them appears to swimsuit him.”
Equally well-suited to him is his jockey Daryl Jacob, who has ridden him in all however two of his 36 profession begins, solely handing the reins to Twiston-Davies’ son, Sam, on one event and to French rider Arnaud Duchene when Bristol De Mai gained at Auteuil as a three-year-old.
“One of many solely different folks to have ridden him is Sam, Daryl is aware of him just like the again of his hand they usually love one another,” the coach mentioned of the partnership.
For all these related to the horse the race is the supply of many comfortable reminiscences, with a record-equalling fourth success within the contest set to depart Bristol De Mai tied with the nice Kauto Star, winner of the Betfair Chase in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011.
“It might simply be nice, he’ll be remembered eternally and perhaps there’d be a race named after him,” Twiston-Davies mentioned of the prospect.
“He is actually, actually particular. We have been fortunate sufficient to have him and The New One each going on the identical time.
“They have been actual standard-bearers for the yard and he has been distinctive, he hasn’t fairly gained the Gold Cup I all the time needed however he was third in a single.”
The coach additionally recalled when he was first proven a glimpse of Bristol De Mai’s potential as a three-year-old within the Grade One Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow.
“These are particular reminiscences, most likely my most particular reminiscence was his very first run for us at Chepstow, he bought deep floor within the three-year-old hurdle after which we actually knew we had a really, very distinctive horse and he hasn’t allow us to down since,” he mentioned.
“He is an easy horse to coach, he is eager in how he goes about his work, he loves his work. He lives within the subject every single day as effectively and he loves that.
“He’s as he appears, he is an enormous showcase – a cheerful horse.”
In addition to A Plus Tard, opposition to Bristol De Mai may embrace Imperial Aura (Kim Bailey), Ready Patiently (Christian Williams), Royale Pagaille (Venetia Williams), Subsequent Vacation spot (Paul Nicholls), Clondaw Fort (Tom George), Native River (Colin Tizzard) and Chatham Road Lad (Mick Winters).