Nigel Twiston-Davies has said that he plans to stick to testing conditions with Bristol De Mai in the future after the horse’s disappointing result in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
After a remorseless display in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November, the horse was in line for a £1 million bonus if he could win the Boxing Day showpiece and then go on to claim Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in March.
However, in the end the grey weakened quickly and finished sixth out of seven finishers.
Speaking after the race Twiston-Davies said, “He was very disappointing as I was really happy with him beforehand. Maybe people are right and he just needs that really soft ground. He was 100 per cent this morning, but I don’t know what we will do next. We will get him out as soon as it rains.”
The trainer said that his options are limited to Newbury’s Denman Chase in February or Cheltenham at the end of January. However, he said that first he needs to discuss things with the owners.
Furthermore, he didn’t rule out a try at the Gold Cup and said that if they are lucky they may have soft ground for the race.
However, he was far happier with the performance of The New One in the Christmas Hurdle. Turning out just 10 days after finishing second when bidding for a fourth victory in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham, the nine-year-old found only Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D’Air too strong.
The trainer added, “He was really good and he was not far behind the reigning Champion Hurdle winner. He seems to be as good as ever. The race was an afterthought. As soon as we saw Faugheen was not coming over, we thought we would have a go. It turned out to be a valuable £25,000 afterthought!”