BRISTOL’s out . . . ooh matron, it must be Haydock!
Yes people, classy Bristol de Mai bids for history and a fourth Betfair Chase live on ITV.
But the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained mega grey is only one of many stars strutting their hooves.
Along with Bristol de Mai — third at Cheltenham in 2019 — there are two other horses placed in the Gold Cup, namely last year’s runner-up A Plus Tard and Lostintranslation, third in 2020.
The Betfair Chase is a cracker and hopes are high all eight stand their ground, which would be fabulous for each-way punters.
A Plus Tard really came good up in trip in his last two starts, landing the Savills Chase at Leopardstown and then chasing home his Henry de Bromhead stablemate Minella Indo in the Gold Cup.
The Cheveley Park-owned runner — still only seven — may have more improvement to come but I just want to take him on.
My main suspicion is the Cheltenham form could be suspect and the Irish have never won this.
Bristol de Mai has been here for the last four years and been nearly unbeatable, suffering defeat to Lostintranslation in 2019 between his three successes.
He could get an uncontested lead and that means Daryl Jacob will be hard to pass, although Imperial Aura may apply some pace pressure under an aggressive David Bass.
That said, it’s the toughest renewal he has faced and he may prefer it softer.
Waiting Patiently gives Denman’s former jockey Christian Williams a high-profile Saturday runner.
The trip, though, has to be a worry as I have never seen the ten-year-old as a strong stayer, although if Brian Hughes gets him in top gear he does have a potent turn of foot.
Champ Paul Nicholls is sure to have Next Destination fit as he did Frodon. Cheekpieces go on and stamina is no problem for Harry Cobden’s mount. On ratings he has a stone to find, but he won’t be too far away.
The fascinating contender is Royale Pagaille. The Venetia Williams French import was sensational in two wins at Haydock last season and finished lame when sixth in the Gold Cup.
IS THIS HORSE A SUPERSTAR IN WAITING?
I’m taking a chance he copes with the surface and having a few quid on each-way – and you can read the rest of my Saturday tips for the ITV racing.
There’s a potential Grade 1 chaser on show in Bravemansgame (1.50).
The Grade 1-winning novice hurdler was impressive on chase debut, and if he disposes of Itchy Feet with ease he’s very useful.
Itchy Feet is trained by Olly Murphy whose stable is going great guns. He also has loads of chasing experience.
Lostintranslation is back in the Grade 2 1965 Chase (2.05 Ascot).
He takes on Dashel Drasher, who would have been the mount of Matt Griffiths if the latter had not been involved in an horrific fatal car accident. We wish you well, Matt.
Three awful runs followed Lostintranslation’s Gold Cup third. He has now had a wind op and this might be last-chance saloon.
Also at Ascot is Cesarewitch hero Buzz, back jumping in the Coral Hurdle after Cesarewitch success.
Bristol’s out. Enjoy him bouncing over the Haydock fences once again.
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