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L’ami Serge can scoop success for Henderson ahead of Bristol De Mai in JLT

| 17.03.2016

David Metcalf | March 15, 2016

L’ami Serge value in JLT Novices’ Chase

L’ami Serge disappointed last time out, but looks decent value to bounce back and land the JLT Novices’ Chase which opens proceedings on day three of the Cheltenham Festival (13:30).

The Nicky Henderson trained gelding was a top-class novice hurdler last season when landing the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle and finishing an unlucky in-running fourth to Douvan in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at at this meeting.

L’ami Serge looked the sort who would make up make up into a cracking chaser, and that view was confirmed when he made all on his debut over the larger obstacles at Plumpton to win unchallenged by 27 lengths from Doctor Harper.

Form of Plumpton win looks strong


Apart from jumping slightly left on occasions, the six-year-old never put a foot wrong and the form looks strong.

The runner-up went on to be beaten five lengths into second behind Garde La Victoire at Ludlow, who is a leading contender for this, before sauntering to an easy success at Leicester.

L’ami Serge went on to follow-up in good style at Wetherby, before running below par and finishing a well-beaten second when sent off long odds-on for a Grade 2 contest at Warwick.

That run was simply too bad to be true, and judged on previous efforts L’ami Serge has what it takes to win this.

Bristol De Mai the main danger

Horse Racing - Coral Welsh Grand National Day - Chepstow

Garde La Victoire has won all three of his starts over fences, but is held by L’ami Serge on a line through Doctor Harper and Bristol De Mai looks the main danger to the selection.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained gelding has won four of his six starts over fences, and was very impressive in the last of those when landing the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Chase at Sandown by six lengths.

Bristol De Mai jumped superbly well at the head of affairs in the hands of Daryl Jacob, and kept up a relentless gallop in the home straight to easily beat As De Mee.

Tough nut to peg back


It was a performance which oozed class, and with the highly regarded Tea For Two finishing another length back in third the form has a rock solid look to it.

Bristol De Mai, who like L’ami Serge is owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, is going to be a tough nut to peg back but I feel he could be vulnerable to something with a turn of foot at the business end of affairs.

L’ami Serge fits that bill and, if within striking distance turning for home, can pounce late to land the spoils.


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Coral’s top tip: Bristol De Mai has a solid profile, but L’ami Serge has a touch of class and looks worth a wager to lower his colours.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.