Bristol De Mai returns to his beloved Haydock on Saturday with jockey Sam Twiston-Davies excited about conditions that will be perfect for the veteran chaser.
The 11-year-old has won on five of his seven visits to the course, first looking like something special in the Peter Marsh Chase five years ago, grinding through the mud to win by 22 lengths. Bristol De Mai is at 13/2 to win and you can follow the action via our Sports Live Streaming platform.
The grey has won the Betfair Chase at the track three times since then and is back for another big staying handicap chase, the Grand National Trial.
His appearance comes after a promising run at Lingfield where he finished a close third over a 2m6f trip that was too short to be ideal.
Bristol De Mai has no entries at the Cheltenham Festival, where he finished third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup three year ago, and is not entered in the Grand National at Aintree in April, giving extra significance to Saturday's test.
Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: "If you were going to invent a race for Bristol de Mai it would be a three-and-a-half-mile chase on heavy ground round Haydock.
"He seems in fantastic nick at home, his schooling has been good and his work has been pleasing since Lingfield. That was a really good run, it was only over two miles six, if there'd been a couple more furlongs I'd love to have known what might have been.
"He jumped well, he never gave up, it was great to see and it fills us with hope for a race like this."