Twiston-Davies relishing Bristol De Mai reunion at Lingfield

Jockey teams up with popular grey in Fleur De Lys feature.

BRISTOL DE MAI in action during The Paddy Power Cotswold Chase in Cheltenham, England.
BRISTOL DE MAI in action during The Paddy Power Cotswold Chase in Cheltenham, England. Picture: (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Sam Twiston-Davies is hoping to fulfil the role of super sub when he steps in to replace the injured Daryl Jacob on Bristol De Mai  at Lingfield on Sunday.

Now 11, the popular grey should have both the trip and ground in his favour in the £150,000 Fleur De Lys Chase.

Three times a winner of the Betfair Chase at Haydock, he has been ridden in all his races since joining Nigel Twiston-Davies as a three-year-old by Daryl Jacob – retained rider for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede – bar one day at Leicester.

"The first time I got to ride Bristol De Mai was in a novice chase at Leicester back in 2015," said Sam Twiston-Davies.

"There was only a handful of runners, and he was by far and away the best horse. We had a great time, came home clear and it was very enjoyable.

"We always knew he was very good, and everyone fell in love with him very early on in his career. He's been great for the whole family and the yard as a team. We're very lucky to have him and it's really exciting to be able to have another go on him."

Bristol De Mai has garnered a huge following, as front-running greys tend to do, and his longevity at a high level has helped.

Twiston-Davies told William Hill: "In the saddle or not, I'm as happy as anyone when he wins as I know how much it means to Dad, and Simon (Munir) and Isaac (Souede) are massive supporters of ours, so when you win any race for them it's fantastic. With Daryl being off, I've got to do the best I can. He loves the horse to bits too and I know it would mean a lot to him even though he's not able to ride.

"Sparky (Richard Bevis, head lad) rides him every day and he says he's in great order, while I've ridden him a fair bit at home over the years too and know plenty about him.

"Sunday's task over two-mile-six is a bit different to the usual, so we'll have to sit down and talk tactics a little bit as he might not be sharp enough over the first few.

"It gets incredibly wet down at Lingfield and heavy ground is something that he deals with really well, so hopefully conditions will turn things into a bit of a stamina test as this is shorter than what he's used to."

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