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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Sam Twiston-Davies in line for plum mounts Bristol De Mai and Wholestone

Bristol De Mai and Daryl Jacob clear a fence down the far side impressively on their way to a runaway win in in the Betfair Chase at Haydock
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Sam Twiston-Davies looks set to pick up the plum ride on favourite Bristol De Mai in the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday, as regular rider Daryl Jacob is due to be at Doncaster to maintain his partnership with Alan King's Grade 1 winner Sceau Royal.

Twiston-Davies is also expected to replace Jacob - retained jockey of owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede - in the Cleeve Hurdle on Relkeel Hurdle winner Wholestone, who is also trained by his father Nigel.

Much hinges upon Paul Nicholls, for whom Twiston-Davies rides as number one, but entries suggest it is probable.

Nigel Twiston-Davies confirmed: "Bristol De Mai and Wholestone are really well, and we're hoping Sam will ride them. It will be subject to Paul's requirements, of course, but he doesn't have an entry in either race."

The runaway Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai is now odds-on in places for the Cotswold after Nicky Henderson declined to enter Whisper, with whom he was disputing favouritism at around 13-8.

Henderson is looking much further ahead with Whisper, and explained: "The Grand National is where we're going and he doesn't need to be running at Cheltenham on Saturday in that ground."

Twiston-Davies has ridden Bristol De Mai in public only once before, when winning a novice chase at Leicester. Jacob has been on board for all of the seven-year-old's 20 other British starts, including his three Grade 1 wins.

The ten entries for the Cotswold Chase include 2015 Gold Cup winner Coneygree and 2016 Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri. Also entered is Harry Fry's American, who was such a disappointment when fancied for Newbury's Ladbrokes Trophy.

Sceau Royal, who won the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown last month, is among the nine initial entries for Doncaster's Grade 2 Lightning Novices' Chase, which has been reopened until Tuesday.

Sceau Royal (Daryl Jacob) leads Brain Power in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown

Jacob schooled the Racing Post Arkle Chase fancy at King's Barbury Castle stables on Monday. He is also in line to ride the Nicky Henderson-trained Sky Bet Handicap Chase fancy L'Ami Serge, another who is owned by Munir and Souede, although this one has an alternative engagement in Cheltenham's Cleeve Hurdle.

The Sky Bet Chase looks set to be as competitive as ever, with 22 acceptors.

They are headed by last month's Aintree Grade 2 winner Definitly Red, who is among the ante-post market leaders but also features among the Cotswold Chase entries. 

Nicky Henderson has another of the market principals, O O Seven, but his Gold Present, who was a 10-1 chance with the sponsor on Monday morning, is not among the acceptors, and nor are fellow market leaders Go Conquer and Dingo Dollar.

L'Ami Serge, who is the subject of good reports, is now clear favourite with the sponsor at 11-2, ahead of Definitly Red and Frodon, who are priced at 8-1.

Saturday's racecards

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Both Bristol De Mai and Wholestone are really well, and we are hoping that Sam will ride them. but it will be subject to Paul's requirements of course
E.W. Terms
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