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      Bristol De Mai heading to the Grand National Trial at Haydock Park

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 14, 2023

      Course specialist Bristol De Mai leads the current 16 entries and will carry top weight of 12th place for this Saturday’s Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap Chase at Haydock Park.

      The popular gray is now 12 years old but has always thrived at Haydock, particularly taking the Grade One Betfair Chase three times in 2017, 2018 and 2020.

      The veteran owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede has won five times overall at the Merseyside track, including the 2017 Peter Marsh Chase. But in his most recent start, he was a distant fourth behind the impressive winner Protektorat when he competed for a record-equalling fourth win in the Betfair Chase on his return of the season at Haydock in November.

      Bristol De Mai is currently vying for favoritism in a 5-1 best price with William Hill and Unibet for Saturday’s trial. He trails just behind Venetia Williams’ Fontaine Collonges in most bookmaker markets with the eight-year-old best priced at 4-1 with William Hill, BetVictor and Unibet.

      Fontaine Collonges won at Haydock in a 3m1 1/2f handicap race in November before finishing fourth at Kempton at Christmas. He could be joined on Merseyside this weekend by stablemate Quick Wave, who is a better price of 7-1 with William Hill. The 10-year-old will carry the second top weight of 11st8lb and is one of four who could race at Haydock who are also entered in the Randox Grand National. They are another Williams-trained contender, Cloudy Glen, Henry Daly’s Fortescue and Grumpy Charley from Chris Honor’s stable.

      The weights for this year’s Grand National at Aintree Racecourse will be revealed next Tuesday at the traditional Weights Luncheon, which this year will be held at St George’s Hall in Liverpool city centre.

      READ MORE: 2022 winner Noble Yeats tops 85 entries for this year’s Grand National

      Nicky Martin’s Welsh National Grand Prix winner The Two Amigos, who have finished fourth and third in this Haydock Trial in the past, are also entered and are currently best priced 10-1 with Coral and Bet365.

      Other entries include Charlie Longsdon’s heroine Snow Leopardess in the 2021 Becher Chase, Time To Get Up, former Midlands Grand National winner trained by Jonjo O’Neill, Sue Smith’s Small Present and distance and course scorer Tim Pat, from the Merseyside-born Donald’s Cheshire stable. McCain. Small Present is generally a 10-1 odds with Snow Leopardess and Tim Pat available at 16-1 and 25-1 respectively.

      There were initially 17 entries for the Grand National Trial in Monday’s five-day declaration stage, but Colin Tizzard’s Fiddlerontheroof, another who is also entered in Aintree’s masterpiece, has now been declared a non-entrant.

      Also on the seven-race undercard at Haydock is the Grade Two Betfred Rendlesham Hurdle which currently has 11 entries including Dan Skelton’s Ashtown Lad, who won the Becher Chase over the high fences at Aintree in December and is also entered in the Grand National . The nine-year-old is also entered in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle on the same seven-run card at Haydock and the Swinley Handicap Chase at Ascot before a possible crack at the world’s biggest hurdle in Merseyside on April 15. .

      The current 2-1 favorite for the Rendlesham Hurdle is the next destination for Nicky Henderson, who if he lines up would have his first start in 704 days. Other potential runners include Nick Kent’s Erne River, Skelton-trained Proschema and former course winner and recent Sandown Green Book scorer, from the stable of Venetia Williams.

      There are currently nine entries for the Betfred Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle, including Paul Nicholls’ unbeaten Afadil and Gary Moore’s Bo Zenith, who will be looking to book their ticket to next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

      Haydock’s pitch secretary, Kirkland Tellwright, said it had been “completely dry” at the Merseyside pitch in the build-up to this weekend’s meeting. He will make a decision on Wednesday on whether to irrigate with the situation currently described as good after less than 2mm of rain in the last week.

      Tellwright said: “We are the same as the rest of the country. It’s been completely dry and has been expecting a bit of rain for a while. We may get some modest showers on Wednesday but that could be it. Let’s assess whether to irrigate then , and we won’t have a hard time doing it, as our license means we can do it whenever we want.”

      Haydock’s Grand National Trial day features seven races with the opener, the Betfred Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle, starting at 1:30pm The finish, the Betfred Steve Hope Walrus Open Hunters’ Chase, is at 5pm The gates they open at 11:30am and general admission tickets are £22. For tickets and more information on Haydock’s Grand National Trial day, visit

      For information on tickets for the Cheltenham Festival visit and for the Randox Grand National Festival visit

      Full list of 17 entries for the 2023 Betfed National Test Handicap Big Chase (Grade 3) at Haydock Park this Saturday (2:40pm)

      No. Shape Horse Age Weight Trainer

      1P31P-4 Bristol De Mai 12-12-0 Nigel Twiston Davies
      2 5/1-1P fast wave 10-11-8 Venice Williams
      3P/1P9- cloudy glen 10-11-5 Venice Williams
      4 1U-44P fortescue 9-11-3Henry Daly
      5 P7-P1P grumpy charley 8-11-0 Chris Honor
      6 141-14 Fontaine Collonges 8-10-11 Venice Williams
      7P-P876 Snow Leopard 11-10-11Charlie Longsdon
      8 211P-3 omar maretti 9-10-10 Alex Hales
      9 230-PP Time to wake up 10-10-7 Jonjo O’Neill
      10 42-731 the two friends 11-10-6 Nicky Martin
      11 22-222 First Lord of Cuet 9-10-6 David Pipa
      12 823-43 No way 9-10-6 alan king
      13 1111-5 move the chains 9-10-1 Gary Moore
      14 5P-453 small present 8-10-1 Sue Smith
      15 11-562 Tim Pat 7-9-13 Donald McCain
      16 6-6415 San Javier 9-11-13 Richard Hobson
      NR Fiddler on the Roof


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