Bristol De Mai put together a foot perfect round of jumping around Haydock to land the Betfair Chase for a second consecutive year. The big grey, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, was an impressive winner of the race and, once again, he will set off on the quest to win the Betfair £1 million bonus.
The next leg to win for that bonus is the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, and the final leg is the Cheltenham Gold Cup next March. Oddschecker have reported that bookmakers have slashed the odds on Bristol De Mai to win the Gold Cup at Cheltenham following his win in the Betfair Chase and that is no surprise. For a long time, he had been regarded as a heavy ground horse but his win in the Grade One proved otherwise.
Two of his rivals in the Betfair Chase will almost certainly meet him again in the Gold Cup next March and they are the horses that finished first and second in the Cheltenham feature last season. Native River won the Gold Cup in March and he has been cut to 4/1 to win back to back Gold Cups following his second place finish behind Bristol De Mai. The reasoning for that is the test at Cheltenham should suit Native River better and it has been reported that he will come on a lot for the run as the yard struggle to get him fit for the early part of the season.
Might Bite finished second in the Gold Cup last season but was a disappointing last in the Betfair Chase on his seasonal reappearance. Nothing has come to light regarding that run and Nicky Henderson has confirmed that the plan is for him to be seen next in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day. He has to bounce back from a poor performance and, after the Betfair Chase, we saw him drift out to 9/1 to win the Gold Cup in March.
We will no doubt see many twists and turns before we get to the Gold Cup next spring but one horse to lay down a marker this season already is Bristol De Mai. He could be heading to the Cheltenham centrepiece with the chance to land a £1 million bonus if he can win the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.