Bristol De Mai: A Triple Crown Champion?

Think back to ten years ago, March 2007, when Kauto Star stormed up the Cheltenham hill to win the Gold Cup and become the first and only horse to win the Stayers’ Chase Triple Crown. Since then, no horse has accomplished that great feat, although a few have come close. Since then it has been decided that the victor of the Betfair Chase, the King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same season will be the recipient of the Kauto Star Trophy, named after the great horse himself.

Since Kauto’s victory, only four other horses have won more than one of the three Triple Crown races: Long Run, Silviniaco Conti, Cue Card and Kauto Star (who came close to winning the title four more times after his achievement in 2006/07). Could we see the ten year drought finally come to an end this year, though?

The Betfair Chase was run yesterday and the winner could not have been more impressive. Bristol De Mai faced a high class field in his attempt to gain a first grade 1 prize which included Cue Card, Tea For Two and Outlander; but he made this ‘high class’ opposition seem like a normal quality as he demolished them in fantastic style to win by 57 lengths.

He is still a six year old, meaning that the best is most likely still to come from this gorgeous grey, and if that is the case then the future appears to be a very bright one. However, with the return of Thistlecrack on the horizon and the Gold Cup champion Sizing John yet to be unleashed, the Kauto Star Trophy is definitely not in the hands of Bristol De Mai’s connections just yet. You could argue that he performs better on a flat track, in which case Kempton may be tailor made for him, but you can imagine that the monstrous Thistlecrack might be able to pose more of a challenge to the young star than his older counterpart, Cue Card.

If yesterday was anything to go by, then Bristol De Mai definitely has the potential to become one of the best staying chasers we have seen in recent years, but he has to continue to improve if he is to beat Thistlecrack or Sizing John. Could he win the Stayers’ Triple Crown? Maybe one day. Time is on his side, and let’s not forget that Kauto was the same age as this young pretender when he won the title ten years ago.

Whatever happens between now and March, Bristol De Mai’s performance in yesterday’s Betfair Chase will stick in the memory for a long time to come.bristol de mai

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