Bristol De Mai shows Cheltenham credentials
Bristol De Mai crowned a day of mixed emotions for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede after completing the second leg of a Grade One double for the pair when showcasing his burgeoning talents with victory in the Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown.
After being handed the perfect start to the day with the surprise victory of Footpad in the GAIN Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown, the duo were dealt a setback as their Champion Hurdle contender Peace And Co met with a shock defeat in the Contenders Hurdle.
The smile though was soon back on the face of the pair as the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained runner carried their two-tone green silks to glory in the two-and-a-half-mile race, to hand them the prize for the second year running having won it 12 months ago with Gitane Du Berlais.
Dictating matters from the outset the Grade One-winning hurdler put in a near foot-perfect round of jumping on his way to claiming his biggest success over fences to date, keeping him on course for next month's JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Although both As De Mee and Tea For Two ranged up as serious dangers entering the final stages, a superb jump over the third-last by the well-backed 10/11 favourite saw him take a couple of lengths out of the pair.
Meeting the last two fences on good terms the grey was only given the hurry up by Daryl Jacob on the run-in to ensure his mind stayed on the job, before clinching an impressive six-length success from As De Mee, with Tea For Two a further length back in third.
Following the race Bristol De Mai, which handed Twiston-Davies his third Scilly Isles triumph having previously won it with Young Hustler and Jack Doyle, was cut to 6/1 for the JLT by both William Hill and Paddy Power, from 10/1 and 8/1 respectively.
Munir said:"It's been a fantastic day winning the Grade One in Ireland and the Grade One here for the second consecutive year after Gitane Du Berlais won it last year."
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