Bristol De Mai

Horses | Last ran in 2021
Dam - La Bole Night
Sire - Saddler Maker
Dam's Sire - April Night
Born - 2011

Bristol De Mai Grand National Wins

Bristol De Mai has never won the Grand National.

They have never finished the race.

One of the legends of the game, in particular, around Haydock, a horse who won multiple Grade One races over the years. Bristol De Mai was instantly recognisable, with his grey colours and green silks and a real flag bearer for the yard of Nigel Twiston-Davies.

Foaled in 2011, the horse won a total of 12 races during his career, and eight of those came in graded company, he got to the highest level, stayed there, and was able to win there. He loved soft ground, the tougher conditions, the better for him, and he was known as a strong stayer, something that would eventually lead him towards the Grand National.

Bristol De Mai would run in the 2021 Grand National, his one and only appearance in the race. Sadly, he didn’t get around the course and complete the race, he was pulled up after struggling at the 21st fence by his jockey Daryl Jacob.

Full Results

Year Result Prize Money Handicap Jockey Trainer
2021 Fence 22 - Pulled Up - 11-10 Daryl Jacob Nigel Twiston-Davies

Bristol De Mai And The Betfair Chase At Haydock

For those who know Bristol De Mai and what he did on the track when you think of the horse, you will no doubt immediately think of the Betfair Chase, a race he dominated during his career. It is an early season Grade One event, running over three miles and usually a race where potential Gold Cup contenders take each other on.

Haydock often struggles with the ground, it is usually soft, or worse, which plays right into the hands of this horse, something that led to him winning the race on three occasions in 2017, 2018 and 2020.

His first win in the race was in very testing conditions, where many struggled and that helped him to record a huge winning margin of 57 lengths, with the great Cue Card in second place. A year later, he won the race again, this time on good ground, showing his versatility, and he beat Native River that day by four lengths. Second, in 2019 behind Lostintranslation, he landed his third victory in the race in 2020, beating Clan Des Obeaux by two lengths, a win which again came on heavy ground.

While Bristol De Mai would find himself in many other big races over the years, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Grand National, King George VI Chase, and others, he will forever be remembered for his Betfair Chase heroics.

Bristol De Mai’s Early Years

Bristol De Mai began his training career in France, where he would have three runs. He was unplaced in two national hunt flat races before winning a three-year-old hurdle race at Auteuil by a neck, what would be his final run in the country.

From there, he was sent to the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard for a career in the UK, and when he arrived in the UK, he did so with a bang.

Bristol De Mai won on his British debut by six lengths, a feat that would be impressive regardless of the race it was in, but the race he won was a Grade One novice hurdle, the Future Champions Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow in December 2014.

That was followed by second and third-placed finishes in good races before he rounded off his season by finishing third in the Grade One juvenile hurdle at the Aintree Grand National meeting.

Chasing would come the following season, he was second on debut before winning his second start by 19 lengths. He would win again before going up to Grade Two level, where he won by 32 lengths in a Grade Two novice chase at Haydock. That was followed up by his second Grade One victory, winning the Scilly Isles Novice Chase at Sandown.

He would end his novice chasing season with two second-placed efforts, in the JLT Novice Chase Grade One at the Cheltenham Festival and a Grade Two novice chase at Ayr.

Bristol De Mai’s Big Race Wins

As already mentioned, Bristol De Mai took the Grade One Betfair Chase on three different occasions, the three biggest wins of his career, and what he will be remembered for. There was plenty more success along the way, though.

During his early years, he won the Grade One Future Champions Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow, the Grade One Scilly Isles Chase at Sandown and the Grade Two Altcar Novice Chase at Haydock.

Later in his career, when in open company, Bristol De Mai would first add the Peter Marsh Chase, a Grade Two handicap at Haydock, a track which was quickly becoming his favourite at this point.

November 2017 saw him win two big races in the space of just three weeks, and a real coming of age for him. He went to Wetherby at the start of the month and won the Charlie Hall Chase by half a length ahead of Blaklion. After that, he went to Haydock, the place he loved, and won his first Betfair Chase, this was his biggest victory in the race, too, beating Cue Card by 57 lengths.

His next win would come a year later, with the 2018 Betfair Chase, and after that, he wouldn’t win until the 2020 Betfair Chase, giving him three victories in that contest. February 2022 saw his final win, and of course, it came at Haydock, this time in the Grand National Trial at the course, though it was a race he only won due to the first-placed horse being disqualified.

Then came the end of a truly remarkable career, a horse that won at Grade One level as a novice hurdler, novice chaser and then open race chaser, and a horse that absolutely loved the course of Haydock, and in particular, the Grade One Betfair Chase.

Being a grey, he was always going to be a popular runner, but his style of running, the quality he showed on the track, and the way in which he thrived in incredibly difficult conditions, made him a real horse of the public.

He wouldn’t have Grand National success but did brilliantly elsewhere during his career.