By Harry Allwood
The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned grey is a general 20-1 chance for the Cheltenham showpiece, in which he finished seventh in last season. More immediately, he is a best-priced 4-1 with Bet 365 for the Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 25, with the race sponsor making him just 2-1.
“Both horses are in good form this morning,” said the Gloucestershire based trained when he spoke on Racing UK’s breakfast show Luck On Sunday.
“Neither of them deserved to lose but it was probably the right result that way round. Blaklion was getting 6lb off Bristol De Mai so the handicapper shouldn't be putting him up and that should leave him spot-on for the Becher Chase [Aintree, December 9]. The long-term target is the Grand National again.
“It will be the Betfair Chase next for Bristol De Mai. He should get his soft ground and he likes it there although he has run some good races on good ground as well.
“It’s hard to say whether he is better this season or not as he was impressive in the Peter Marsh at Haydock in January. He’s quite fragile and I hope he runs consistently this year.
“I think he is a very serious contender for the Gold Cup. When he ran in it last year the ground was a bit quick for him and he didn’t run his best race. If he jumps like he did on Saturday he will be right there at the finish.”
Twiston-Davies also gave an update on two-time Grade One winner The New One, who was successful on his seasonal debut in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las last month.
“The New One is in good form," the trainer said. "I have entered him in the Greatwood Hurdle [Cheltenham, November 19]. There is also a 2m4f conditions race at Haydock and we will look at that as well.”