Bristol fashion in Peter Marsh
A resurgent Bristol De Mai ran out a clear-cut winner of the Peter Marsh Chase under Daryl Jacob.
Bristol De Mai: Winner of the Peter Marsh under Sporting Life columnist Daryl Jacob.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained grey was coming into the contest on the back of a sequence of four second-place finishes, most notably in last season's JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
In a contest run at a decent clip, he was never too far from the pace, but once Jacob asked him to go past leader Otago Trail after the third-last fence, the response was immediate. He simply galloped past and, jumping with alacrity down the home straight, kept putting distance between himself and his rivals all the way to the winning post, eventually scoring by 22 lengths.
Otago Trail had done enough to hold on for second from Bishops Road by a further three and a half lengths, with Virak fourth, ahead of the only other finishers, Borea Boru and Gevrey Chambertin.
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Colin Tizzard's much-talked-about French import Alary was beaten at the top of the home straight and was pulled up, while Vintage Clouds was tiring in third when coming down three out, hampering Definitly Red, who unseated Henry Brooke.
Nigel Twiston-Davies, completing a double after the success half an hour of The New One, said: "We'd been a bit disappointed with him until today this season, but he seemed in really good form at home and we were hopeful.
"We'd had this race planned out for a bit of time and he's settling better than he used to. He stays, he settles and he's a proper racehorse."
The winner has possible options in either the Ryanair Chase or the Timico Gold Cup at the Festival and the trainer said: "We don't need to make our minds up yet but there are two races for him and it's nice to have options.
"I'd lean towards the Gold Cup. It looks like he's a stayer now. But whether we are quite of the class of Thistlecrack will be seen to be believed."
Bookmakers Sky Bet cut the winner from 66/1 to 20/1 in their non-runner no bet market for the Gold Cup.
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