Bristol De Mai none the worse for Betfair Chase exertions

Sun 21 Nov 2021

Nigel Twiston-Davies believes three-time Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai lost nothing in defeat at the hands of the impressive A Plus Tard at Haydock on Saturday.

Going into the race, the popular grey had won five of his six races at the Merseyside track in a stellar career, and was bidding to emulate Kauto Star’s four victories in the Grade One event.

However, in a strong renewal, the 10-year-old was pulled up before two out, with Daryl Jacob looking after the stable star.

 Brostol De Mai was seeking a fourth Betfair Chase win
Brostol De Mai was seeking a fourth Betfair Chase win

Twiston-Davies would like to see more ease in the ground at this stage of his career. He said: “He’s fine. He is obviously not as fast as he was, in a quality race and on that ground. So, he’ll be all right.

“It was a very strong race and he ran well for a way, and you can’t fault him for what he has achieved. Daryl looked after him and that was good to see.

“I don’t know where we will go next – it is back to the drawing board.

“He obviously does need softer ground these days, but he is fit and well this morning.”

Waiting Patiently is to be given a thorough check-up after being pulled up in the Betfair Chase.

The 10-year-old was never travelling after making a mistake at the first fence and Brian Hughes drew stumps before the fourth-last fence after losing touch.

It was his first race since he moved to Williams’ Glamorgan yard from Ruth Jefferson, for whom he was a Grade One winner.

“There’s not much to say really. He galloped into the first a little bit, then never jumped or travelled after that,” said Williams.

“He was fine this morning. We’ll have him checked out this week and see if anything comes to light. The ground was probably a bit quick for him, but it would be disappointing to use that as an excuse.

“We’ll see if anything comes to light and we won’t make any plans until then. First and foremost he was OK this morning and he was fine after the race. He went out in the field this morning with Strictlyadancer and seemed fine.

“The process now will be just to do some routine checks on him to see if anything pops up.”

Meanwhile, Philip Hobbs admits he is “stumped” by the disappointing performance of Defi Du Seuil at Ascot on Saturday.

The eight-year-old was sent off favourite for the two-mile-five-furlong Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase, but failed to fire and trailed in 35 lengths behind impressive winner Lostintranslation.

Owned by JP McManus, Defi Du Seuil was having his first run since a wind operation and 301 days off the track.

Held up early by Tom O’Brien, Defi Du Seuil tagged on to the coat-tails of the leading trio after the ninth of the 17 fences, but was nudged along soon after and weakened after two out.

Yet Hobbs was making no excuses and said: “He was in good form after the race, back in the stable.

“So, I’m a bit stumped to be honest at this stage, but we will see how he is in the week.

“We can’t make any plans until we know what the issue was. The ground was fine – it was on the easy side of good – no excuses over that.

“He has run below par, that’s for sure, but why? Only time will tell.”

Hobbs also revealed that high-class hurdler Sporting John could have his next run at Cheltenham next month.

Winner of the Grade One Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown in January, the six-year-old subsequently failed to complete in two subsequent top-class chases at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals, before making a successful return over hurdles in a Listed three-mile contest at Cheltenham’s November fixture.

Though he holds an entry in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Hobbs is keen to keep him over the smaller obstacles for the time being and the Citipost Handicap Hurdle on the Friday of Cheltenham’s International meeting is pencilled in.

Hobbs said: “If the ground is suitable, Sporting John will be likely to run in a three-mile handicap hurdle at the next Cheltenham meeting. He is in good form.”

While plans are on hold for Waiting Patiently, Williams is looking forward to the next project for Strictlyadancer after he followed up his win at Cheltenham a week earlier in a staying handicap chase on the Haydock card.

“I don’t think it was a freebie yesterday. He was a short price, but I don’t think it was a terrible race. There were a few progressive horses in there,” he said.

“He probably doesn’t want it too soft. There are a couple of nice races for him – the London National at Sandown in a fortnight and the December Handicap Chase at Cheltenham, the Grade Three, on the Friday of that meeting. He could run there as well.

“The Cheltenham race is a week after Sandown, but the Sandown race sometimes cuts up so he’ll probably have an entry in that as well.”

Williams is likely to confine Potters Corner to cross-country races after the 2019 Welsh Grand National hero was pulled up in the Haydock race won by Strictlyadancer.

“He seems OK. He probably wants soft ground and extreme distances now,” he said.

“We took a chance with Strictlyadancer seven days after Cheltenham and it paid off. We ran Potters Corner eight days after Cheltenham, but that didn’t quite pay off.

“He’ll probably stick to cross-country racing now. He goes well around Cheltenham.”

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