Although best known for his exploits at Haydock, Bristol De Mai is also a prior Grade 1 winner here at Sandown and arrives at the top of his game following victory over Clan Des Obeaux in the Betfair Chase in November. The combination of both the forecast heavy ground and the switch from its natural home at Cheltenham are both in favour of the Nigel Twiston-Davies ten-year-old so despite his advancing years I feel he has a great chance of reversing the form with last years' winner Santini. That's not to say he will have it easy, however Nicky Henderson's runner benefitted from the extra furlong last season and in my mind would be better suited to the uphill finish at Cheltenham.
A mention should also go to Saint Calvados who is unexposed over a three mile trip, should also appreciate the testing conditions and benefits from a 6lbs weight advantage over the afore-mentioned two.
BRISTOL DE MAI (WIN)
written by Dean Kilbryde