Topham Trends Point To Big Each-Way Value
Aintree this Friday serves up the perfect aperitif for Saturday’s Grand National, namely the Topham Chase (4.05), beamed live on Channel 4.
10/1 The Field
As is the tradition for this competitive handicap over the National fences, there is a wide-open look at the head of the market with 10/1 joint-favourites, Monetaire and Rajdhani Express. The former arrives following a 1l second to Darna (14/1) in a Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham last month, but was further back than ideal before staying on late and may reverse form with the winner on 2lb better terms this time around.
Rajdhani Express meanwhile, was a further 6l behind the aforementioned pair at Cheltenham when making late headway, but with his last six form-figures showing 0000U0, including two unplaced efforts at Aintree, his odds look a touch short.
It could also pay to look beyond the market leaders based on recent trends…
Of the last 10 Topham winners…
10 were Irish (6) or French-bred (4)
10 ran in a handicap last time
10 were non-winners last time
9 were non-favourites
9 won at least one handicap chase
8 carried 10st11lb or lower
8 were officially rated 128-141
8 dropped in trip from last time
P Bowen had 4 winners, N Henderson had 3
Another interesting trend from above shows that those who lined-up having won last time out failed to follow-up, which could count against Paul Nicholls’ Ruben Cotter (12/1), who took a valuable handicap over this trip at Kempton last month (good). A 10lb higher mark makes life tough, but this 9yo is improving.
Money For Hughes
Having won the Irish National on Monday, Sandra Hughes’ Bright New Dawn (14/1) has come in for support, though softer ground may be required to be at his best, while Willie Mullins has Turban (25/1) entered. This 8yo won a 2m4f chase at Clonmel prior to finding the step back to 2m at Cheltenham too sharp, so this return to longer will help.
Pipe Has Aintree Package
One who did enjoy himself at Cheltenham, however, is David Pipe’s The Package (14/1), who won the Kim Muir over 3mf, though he has never sparkled in four unplaced outings at Aintree. Stablemate, Ballynagour (16/1), was a 4l third to Boston Bob in a Grade 1 at this meeting 12 months ago (2m4f, good), but hasn’t been seen since pulled up in November’s Hennessy at Newbury (soft). Having won following a break previously, though, it will be interesting if money arrives for him.
Also among the leading fancies is Tony Martin’s Savello (14/1), who won last year’s Grand Annual at Cheltenham (2m, good), and showed he was no back number when fourth in the BoyleSports Hurdle in January. But, having won four renewals of this race in the last 10 years, a mention goes to Peter Bowen’s pair, Letbeso (40/1) and Lamboro Lad (50/1), who could go well at big odds if getting in the bottom of the handicap.
Another wide-open renewal, in which a chance is taken on Deciding Moment (40/1), trained by the 1983 Grand National winning jockey, Ben De Haan. A winner over this trip on good ground, he failed to stay 3m when last seen in November, but may have been put to one side since for this race.