On Saturday, Haydock Park hosts the Betfair Chase – a race steeped in history having been won in the past by the likes of Kauto Star (four times), Cue Card (three times) and BRISTOL DE MAI (three times).

Speaking of the lovable grey ‘Bristol’, who bids to match the great Kauto Star’s record in the race on his sixth attempt, I think he’s worth chancing here at 7/1.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking – why on earth would I back against the 180-rated, odds-on favourite A Plus Tard, who not only won this race last year in a canter but bolted up by 15L in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March? Hear me out….

Yes, Henry de Bromhead’s eight-year-old is exceptional and yes, Bristol De Mai is now 11 and undoubtedly on the decline, but as is so often the case at Haydock ground plays a huge part here.

At time of writing it’s currently soft, and there’s a lot of rain forecast over the next 24 hours or so – so expect extremely testing conditions at the Merseyside track on Saturday.

This not only brings Nigel Twiston-Davies’ gelding into play, who adores galloping through the mud at Haydock, but you can’t say it’s what the favourite wants at all given that all his very best form is on good to soft.

In fact, it wouldn’t really surprise me if connections decide to pull him should conditions be as gruelling as I envisage – although I must stress that is just a feeling and as of right now the plan is 100% to run.

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Bristol De Mai showed at times last season he can still run to a high standard – albeit in worse company than this – when getting his conditions, and deep ground at Haydock over an extended three-miles is going to be absolutely perfect for him.

Regular rider Daryl Jacob has been speaking very positively indeed about the Haydock legend leading up to the race as well, saying: “He’s had a brilliant pre-season so far – he’s been very enthusiastic, his schooling has been very good and his work has been extremely good.

“With the rain we’ve had, and more rain coming, I’m genuinely very excited – I love this horse and I can’t wait until Saturday.”

Of the others in the field, Paul Nicholls has hinted that Frodon won’t run if conditions become too testing, while for me Eldorado Allen doesn’t quite cut it at Grade One level.

Dan Skelton’s Protektorat is of course a danger, although he isn’t certain to want the ground too testing either. He did win very impressively – arguably his best performance to date – on soft ground at Ascot last term which leads many to believe he’s a deep ground horse, but the majority of his form comes on good to soft so he’s one I’d readily oppose.

Maybe A Plus Tard copes with it all just fine and bolts up as he’s expected to, but at the prices I’d rather follow the tried-and-tested route, and Bristol De Mai is certainly the value for me.

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