Bristol De Mai is one of five Saturday bets from our racing pundit Andy Holding.
Fourth in this race last year, GOOD AS GOLD (best price 11/2)
has every chance of improving upon that finishing position twelve months on based on the evidence of her recent performances. Sixth in the hottest handicap hurdle run in Ireland so far this season three starts ago, the daughter of Beneficial followed that up with a victory over the same C&D next time out. Arguably, her best effort, however, came last time when she was fifth in the valuable Coral Handicap Hurdle over today’s course and a repeat of that display should ensure Pat Fahy’s inmate is right of the thick of the action once again.
Good As Gold - 0.5pt e/w @ 11/2Lost -1pt
1.30 Ffos Las
Mystical Knight is definitely the sexy one among this five-strong field but at the same time it’s debateable whether he’s a genuine 1-2 shot up against the ultra-game NEVER EQUALLED (best price 3/1)
who should give the favourite plenty to think about at the very least. Bernard Llewellyn’s inmate had his medals blazing on his chest last time out at Chepstow when just getting edged out of the verdict in the closing stages by the well-backed Millanisi Boy, leaving the impression that the extra three furlongs over that stiff course was just a bridge too far. Impressive the time before when making all the running over today’s C&D, the form of both of those two races has worked out really well and he looks sure to run his usual brave race from the front, win-lose or draw.
Never Equalled - 1pt @ 3/1Non Runner
BRISTOL DE MAI (NAP) (best price 13/8)
has clocked some superb speed figures in victory and defeat so far over fences and he receives a confident vote to put his Cheltenham Festival claims firmly in the shop window. Beaten fair-and-square by the very smart Ar Mad in the Henry VIII Chase over today’s course earlier the campaign, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge has improved significantly since being upped in trip and he proved that to be the case in no uncertain terms at Haydock last time out. Jumping with great enthusiasm and accuracy throughout, the son of Saddler Maker pulled well clear of a stellar field with the minimum of economy and on the evidence of that display, today’s test over the Railway fences should suit his run-style down to the ground.
Bristol De Mai - 2pt @ 13/8Won 3.25pt
Not backing GRENDISAR (best price 7/2)
at his favourite course is like looking a gift horse in the mouth and for those that enjoy a bit of each-way thievery on the side, its case of double-bubble. Anyone who’s backed this horse in the last few seasons will know he’s a proper seat of the pants ride, as his stalk-and-pounce run style often leads to trouble in running, and that turned out to be the case here last time when he found himself hostage to fortune how the race developed. On the debit side, Marco Botti’s charge can look devastating when things pan out right for him, so let’s hope there’s plenty of pace and he gets the rub of the green when in matters most.
Grendisar - 1pt e/w @ 7/2Won 4.2pt
Tom Lacey has proved that he can play on the big stage with Singlefarmpayment winning at Cheltenham this season and in the shape of PINNACLE PANDA (best price 7/1)
, the Ledbury handler has another chance of posting another notable success. The son of Scorpion proved that he was made of the right stuff when digging deep into his resources to see off the persistent challenge of Authorised Too at Uttoxeter last time out and a mark of 121 doesn’t appear to penal on his first try in handicap company.
Pinnacle Panda - 0.5pt e/w @ 7/1Won 4.2pt