The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Bristol De Mai will head to Racing’s Blue Riband event, the Cheltenham Gold Cup at Prestbury Park next month.
A bitterly disappointing run behind Native River in the Denman Chase at Newbury last time had left connections questioning his participation in the extended three-miles and two furlongs contest.
However, connections found the Peter Marsh winner to be lame the day after the race, whilst he had also suffered a nasty cut on a joint which has led to a change in plan for the six-year-old son of Saddler Maker.
Thus, the imposing grey will head to the Gold Cup with connections happy to write off his run at Newbury and allow last year’s JLT Novices’ Chase second to take his chance in what is increasingly looking like an open renewal of the championship race.
Bristol De Mai’s price is generally a 20-1 chance for the Festival showpiece after the withdrawal of Thistlecrack due to injury.
Anthony Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, commented: “The day after he ran Nigel reported he was very lame.
“He gave his near-fore joint a whack and it took him a few days to get over it, but he was cantering again at the weekend.
“He also got a cut on the same joint and Daryl (Jacob) said that very early on he knew he wasn’t travelling and he didn’t feel like the same horse.
“I think there was a combination of factors, Haydock probably took more out of him than we thought and he may have hurt himself jumping the first as he landed very steeply.
“We don’t think it was his true running, he didn’t jump like he can so we think he has a valid excuse.
“We’re under no illusions, he’ll be going to the Gold Cup as an outsider but it looks like being a big field and where else can you go with a horse with his rating?
“Nigel thinks he can get him back to where he was at Haydock and we’ll roll the dice.”