He is regarded as a bit of a Haydock specialist but BRISTOL DE MAI is no back number around Cheltenham given the right conditions as his Gold Cup 3rd last season and his and JLT Novices’ Chase 2nd place finish three years earlier testify.
He’s had just the one run this term, running a good second in the Betfair Chase to Lostintranslation. While it was disappointing that he got beat it was a good effort nevertheless and he’ll come here fresh (his record after a break of 50 days + reads 1122112132).
Santini is favourite at the minute but, although he has possibly got untapped potential, he still has questions to answer for me and a bit to find. Several of the others have the potential to improve also but in BRISTOL DE MAI (9/4 generally) they are dealing with a horse who is a genuine Grade 1 performer on his day with a good few lbs in hand and, while he is no banker, I think he is a decent bet at the prices.
For the second bet of the day I’m looking to AINCHEA (6/1 Bet365 and Racebets) to strike in the 4.10 at the same meeting. He is fancied to improve dramatically on his recent comeback run, which will have hopefully swept away any cobwebs lingering after the two years he’d had off prior to that. That break followed a fall when he looked likely to win a good novice hurdle event at Sandown. Before that he’d been a good second to Tikkanbar on New Year’s Day 2018 at Cheltenham in the Listed Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
He was held up and never really figured on his comeback at Sandown earlier this month (unfancied in the market). Connections were probably delighted with the 5lb drop in his mark for that and I expect a much more prominent display here. He is worth chancing at 6/1.