I’ve mentioned this horse before from a value viewpoint. He’s a crazy price for the Gold Cup. Hills have him at 40/1 although that is without the NRNB facility. Bet365 offer NRNB and 33/1 and that just has to be taken.
I’ve been watching him since his novice days and trying to piece together what makes him tick (see this post). I’ve come to the conclusion that after a monster performance – like his Betfair wins – he needs a long, long break. There are other factors important to him but I believe the break might well be the crucial one.
Unfortunately for the horse he’s ended up with the trainer who doesn’t like giving his horses a break if he can avoid it. Nigel Twiston-Davies is a nice man and superb at getting horses fit. But he can get fixated on something and he takes some shaking out of it. After Haydock in November he did admit that many of the problems Bristol De Mai has faced have been down to him and his training.
Anyway, before I get off on a rant, it seems that by accident rather than design the horse goes to the Gold Cup having had the ideal break. He ran in the King George but fell early (first fall of his career), so he will line up on March 15th effectively not having raced since winning the Betfair Chase with such verve and authority.
Many of those who opposed him at Haydock with the cry that he must have heavy ground (he doesn’t), now claim he doesn’t really act round Cheltenham (he does).
It’s a good Gold Cup and I fear Clan Des Obeaux and Kemboy but Bristol De Mai has to be backed on value alone. I’d have him no bigger than an 8/1 chance and even with the remaining horde of doubters I cannot see him being longer than 16/1 on the day.
If you want one with him for an EW double, I strongly suggest Terrefort at 20/1 NRNB (Bet365) for the Ryanair. He caught a tartar last time in Clan Des Obeaux but it was his best run of the season. He’s coming nicely to hand and will appreciate the drop back in trip. Terrefort also worth backing single. He will not be that price on the day.