Bristol De Mai's team announce chaser will retire after swansong run at Haydock
Owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained grey was victorious six times at his beloved Merseyside venue, including a hat-trick of victories in the Betfair Chase between 2017 and 2020. Bristol De Mai also won the 2016 Altcar Novices' Chase, the 2017 Peter Marsh Chase and last year's Grand National Trial at Haydock, but finished well beaten when bidding for back-to-back wins in the latter contest at the weekend. Connections now feel the time has come to give him an honourable retirement. Munir wrote on Twitter: "Team Double Green are announcing the retirement of Bristol De Mai. "It has been a privilege to own him. Bristol has been a legend and retires 100% sound & happy. Our thanks to Nigel, Sparky (Richard Bevis), Daryl (Jacob) & all at Grange Farm. "It has been a wonderful journey that he has taken us all on!" It is nine years since Bristol De Mai was bought out of Guillaume Macaire's yard in the France and he made an immediate impact by providing Munir and Souede with their first Grade One success in the 2014 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow. In all he won 12 times, with his big-race haul also including the 2016 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown and the 2017 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. The 12-year-old amassed over £900,000 in prize-money and while his owners are enjoying an excellent season, with Blue Lord and El Fabiolo both winning Grade Ones and heading to next month's Cheltenham Festival as leading contenders, Bristol De Mai will undoubtedly always have a special place in their hearts. The aforementioned Jacob was a masterful partner of Bristol De Mai, being in the saddle for nine of his 12 victories - including the three Betfair Chases. He told sportinglife.com: "What a legend of a horse Bristol has been and he's been a pleasure to ride. "I've enjoyed so many good days on him and some special days with my family too - the kids have grown to love him over the years so he'll always be remembered fondly. "His best performance was probably his second Betfair Chase, when he got the better of Native River, Thistlecrack, Clan Des Obeaux and Might Bite. "The third Betfair gave me a huge amount of pleasure, but in terms of actual performance it was that second win, beating Gold Cup winners."
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