Twiston-Davies has been waiting on Mai-day


Nigel Twiston-Davies admits a tilt at the Betfair Chase with Bristol De Mai has been on his radar for quite some time.

The six-year-old grey was an impressive winner of the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in January since which Twiston-Davies has had this weekend’s Grade One contest in his thinking.

That win came in soft ground and the official going for the Betfair Chase appears set to be testing once more.

Bristol De Mai warmed up for the race with an impressive win in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby last month and now his trainer is eyeing a first Grade One win in open company.

“He has had a run and is in good form,” said Twiston-Davies.

“Ever since he won the Peter Marsh we’ve been thinking about the Betfair Chase because we know he was so good when he went there that day. We’re very hopeful but we’re taking on the best in the country, so we can’t be over-confident.”

The veteran Cue Card fell in the Charlie Hall last time out but Twiston-Davies won’t be writing Colin Tizzard’s charge off.

Bristol De Mai is the current 5/4 favourite for the Betfair Chase while Cue Card is 3/1 to win the race for the fourth time in five years.

“He does go on the ground, that’s for certain,” he added. “However, Cue Card has won in that ground as well. The poor boy has a bit to prove now but we’ll see what he can do on Saturday.”

Reigning Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Sizing John is also Merseyside-bound. Jessica Harrington’s charge was a drifter in the betting early this week and is currently a 5/2 chance.

The Irish trainer has confirmed all is well with Sizing John and while Twiston-Davies is unsure of any reasons behind his drift in price, he says it is up to Bristol De Mai to try and expose any potential weaknesses.

“I couldn’t quite understand the vibes about Sizing John. If there are any chinks in his armour we will try to find them,” he said.

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