Horse Racing: 3 things to look out for this weekend as Bristol de Mai eyes record

Timeform are all over this weekend's talking points.

Bristol De Mai Darly Jacob Haydock November 21, 2020


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Only a Braveman would oppose Nicholls’ exciting chaser

Paul Nicholls seemingly likes to target his better chasers at this race, with Clan des Obeaux winning in 2017, and Master Tommytucker making all to score by 15 lengths 12 months ago. Bravemansgame was one of the best novice hurdlers seen in Britain last season, and made a seamless transition to fences when coasting to victory at Newton Abbot last month.

The runner-up, Fusil Raffles, rather fortuitously won the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on his next start, but the fact that Bravemansgame dispatched of that more experienced rival with considerable ease on his debut over fences marks him out as a very exciting prospect. This looks the obvious next step for him before moving into graded company, and granted a clear round, it is hard to look past his claims.


Can Bristol de Mai match King Kauto in the Betfair Chase?

Kauto Star memorably won the Betfair Chase for a record fourth time as an 11-year-old in 2011, and now the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol de Mai has the chance to equal that feat on Saturday. The 10-year-old has won three of the last four renewals – losing out only to Lostintranslation in 2019 – and will have likely been primed for this return to action. The fact is, though, he isn’t getting any younger, and the ground is set to be much faster than the testing conditions he revels in.

Furthermore, he faces a top-class challenger in the shape of Irish-raider A Plus Tard, who was last seen finishing runner-up to stablemate Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. There is a chance A Plus Tard may need this on his first start for eight months – he has finished runner-up on his last three seasonal returns – but, in the same breath, there is also a chance that he won’t need to be at his best to beat an ageing Bristol de Mai. Throw Waiting Patiently – who is having his first start for a new yard – Next Destination and another course specialist in Royale Pagaille into the mix, and odds for Bristol de Mai look skinny enough.

Defi Du Seuil beats Un De Sceaux at Ascot 2020

Defi looks interesting for a resurgent Hobbs yard

This year’s renewal of the 1965 Chase at Ascot looks an intriguing one where you can make a case for several. It is worth remembering that Defi du Seuil is still only an eight-year-old, though, and was one of the best chasers around in 2019/20 – he started the 5/2-on favourite for the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, albeit following withdrawals from Altior and Chacun Pour Soi.

Defi du Seuil never looked comfortable in two starts last season, but it is worth noting that the yard wasn’t firing on all cylinders, and the performance of the returning Sporting John at Cheltenham last season suggests the stable are in much better shape now. Defi du Seuil has also undergone a wind operation since last seen, and if returning in anywhere near his best form, his class will tell here.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change




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