The 157-rated Shantou Flyer (trained Richard Hobson, 16/1 with Betway) has finished second in all four of his starts in 2018, including last time out when staying on strongly to finish a neck second to Coo Star Sivola in the G3 Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 13. He was pulled up four out in the 2017 Randox Health Grand National when trained by Rebecca Curtis.
Master Dee (Fergal O’Brien, 11st 6lb) is one of six 12/1 co favourites with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival. He is on a career-high mark of 151 following his decisive victory in the G3 Betdaq Handicap Chase at Kempton Park on February 24.
Master Dee is joined at the top of the Randox Health Topham Chase betting by three Irish challengers in Cheltenham Festival runner-up Mall Dini (11st 5lb, Patrick Kelly IRE), plus the Willie Mullins-trained pair of Patricks Park (10st 4lb) and Pairofbrowneyes (11st 1lb), both successful in valuable handicap chases this season.
Trainer Nicky Henderson has captured three of the last five renewals of the Randox Health Topham Chase over two miles and five furlongs and five in total, making him the most successful trainer in the history of the race. His three entries are last year’s fourth O O Seven (11st 5lb), also a 12/1 co favourite, Kilcrea Vale (10st 4lb, 20/1) and Days Of Heaven (11st 3lb, 33/1).
Owner Robert Waley-Cohen, victorious with Liberthine (2006) and Rajdhani Express (2015), is set represented by Theatre Territory (Warren Greatrex, 10st 1lb, 12/1), who finished third behind Master Dee at Kempton Park on her latest start.
Last year’s shock 50/1 winner Ultragold (25/1), one of five entries for trainer Colin Tizzard, has been allotted 10st 10lb. Tizzard’s quintet also features 2015 G1 Maghull Novices’ Chase victor Sizing Granite (11st 8lb, 33/1), who triumphed over hurdles at Newbury last week, and G2 National Hunt Chase runner-up Sizing Tennessee (11st, 16/1).
Trainer Jimmy Moffatt is hoping the Grand National fences will rejuvenate his stable star Highland Lodge (10st 4lb), just as they have in the past.
Highland Lodge captured the G3 Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences on his debut for Moffatt at Aintree in December, 2015 and has made the frame in the last two editions of the same race, finishing second in 2016 and third this season.
The 12-year-old, who is a 20/1 chance with Betway, was pulled up on his latest start in the G2 Peter Marsh Handicap Chase on heavy ground at Haydock Park on January 20.
Moffatt, based in the Lake District, revealed: “We have had to regroup since Highland Lodge ran at Haydock.
“We are fairly certain now that he needs the Aintree fences to bring out the best in him, so the Randox Health Topham Chase is the plan.
“We did not feel that he got the trip in the Grand National last year [Highland Lodge was pulled up at the final fence] and, given how well he has run in the Becher, we think the Topham will suit.
“He is a prominent racer and brilliant jumper over the fences, and those sort of horses tend to do well in the Topham.”
Trainer Ian Williams has two high-profile entries in Ballyalton (10st 7lb, 16/1), who has run well in three valuable handicap chases at Cheltenham so far this season, and last year’s Randox Health Grand National fifth Gas Line Boy (11st 3lb, 16/1).
Nigel Twiston-Davies has a good record with his runners over the Grand National fences and landed the Randox Health Topham Chase in 2009 with Irish Raptor. The Gloucestershire handler has three contenders in Flying Angel (11st 3lb, 20/1), successful in the G1 Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree last year, Bigbadjohn (10st 7lb, 20/1) and Crievehill (10st 7lb, 20/1).
The three-day Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree commences with tremendous racing on Grand National Thursday, April 12, when there four Grade One contests, and culminates in the £1-million Randox Health Grand National, the world’s greatest and richest chase, at 5.15pm on Saturday, April 14.
Randox Health Topham Chase – Betway prices: 12/1 Mall Dini, Master Dee, O O Seven, Pairofbrowneyes, Patricks Park, Theatre Territory; 14/1 Kylemore Lough; 16/1 Ballyalton, Bouvreuil, Gas Line Boy, Polidam, Shantou Flyer, Sizing Tennessee; 20/1 Art Mauresque, Bigbadjohn, Crievehill, Flying Angel, Go Conquer, Highland Lodge, Kilcrea Vale, Pleasant Company, Rathlin Rose, Sametegal, Top Gamble; 25/1 bar
Each-way 1/4 odds, 1-2-3-4
The Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase
Grade 3 handicap chase, £140,000 Total Prize Fund. Friday, April 13, 2018, 2m 5f 19yds over the Grand National fences. For five-year-olds and upwards. Penalties: after March 25, a winner of a chase 4lb; no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed March 20, entries revealed March 21 (79 entries), six-day confirmations April 7, final declarations 10am April 12. Maximum field 30 runners.
|SHANTOU FLYER (IRE)||8||11-12||Carl Hinchy||Richard Hobson|
|SIZING GRANITE (IRE)||10||11-08||Ann & Alan Potts Limited||Colin Tizzard|
|DEVILS BRIDE (IRE)||11||11-07||Gigginstown House Stud||Henry de Bromhead IRE|
|KYLEMORE LOUGH||9||11-06||M J McMahon & Denis Gallagher||Harry Fry|
|MASTER DEE (IRE)||9||11-06||Paul & Clare Rooney||Fergal O’Brien|
|DOUBLE TREASURE||7||11-05||Sir Chips Keswick||Jamie Snowden|
|O O SEVEN (IRE)||8||11-05||Christopher Hanbury||Nicky Henderson|
|TOP GAMBLE (IRE)||10||11-05||Walters Plant Hire & James & Jean Potter||Kerry Lee|
|MALL DINI (IRE)||8||11-05||Philip J Reynolds||Patrick Kelly IRE|
|VILLAGE VIC (IRE)||11||11-05||Alan Peterson||Philip Hobbs|
|GO CONQUER (IRE)||9||11-05||Paul & Clare Rooney||Jonjo O’Neill|
|CLARCAM (FR)||8||11-04||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|ART MAURESQUE (FR)||8||11-04||Mrs Johnny de la Hey||Paul Nicholls|
|FLYING ANGEL (IRE)||7||11-03||R J Rexton||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE)||10||11-03||Malcolm C Denmark||Willie Mullins IRE|
|GAS LINE BOY (IRE)||12||11-03||The Three Graces||Ian Williams|
|DAYS OF HEAVEN (FR)||8||11-03||Mrs S K Johnston||Nicky Henderson|
|POLIDAM (FR)||9||11-01||Simon Munir/Isaac Souede||Willie Mullins IRE|
|PAIROFBROWNEYES (IRE)||9||11-01||Fibbage Syndicate||Willie Mullins IRE|
|SIZING TENNESSEE (IRE)||10||11-00||Ann & Alan Potts Limited||Colin Tizzard|
|VIBRATO VALTAT (FR)||9||11-00||Axom XLIII||Emma Lavelle|
|CHILDRENS LIST (IRE)||8||11-00||Susannah Ricci||Willie Mullins IRE|
|MARRACUDJA (FR)||7||10-13||Ditcheat Thoroughbreds Marracudja||Paul Nicholls|
|LORD WINDERMERE (IRE)||12||10-13||Dr R Lambe||Jim Culloty IRE|
|CAPTAIN REDBEARD (IRE)||9||10-13||S Coltherd||Stuart Coltherd|
|COLD MARCH (FR)||8||10-13||A Brooks||Harry Whittington|
|KNOCKGRAFFON (IRE)||8||10-12||Mrs Barbara Hester||Olly Murphy|
|THUNDER AND ROSES (IRE)||10||10-11||Gigginstown House Stud||Mouse Morris IRE|
|FULL GLASS (FR)||5||10-11||Simon Munir & Isaac Souede||Alan King|
|BOUVREUIL (FR)||7||10-11||John P McManus||Paul Nicholls|
|SAMETEGAL (FR)||9||10-10||John & Barbara Cotton||Paul Nicholls|
|ULTRAGOLD (FR)||10||10-10||Brocade Racing J P Romans Terry Warner||Colin Tizzard|
|EASTLAKE (IRE)||12||10-10||John P McManus||Jonjo O’Neill|
|BLAZER (FR)||7||10-09||John P McManus||Willie Mullins IRE|
|WESTERNER POINT (IRE)||9||10-09||Thade Quill Syndicate||Eoghan O’Grady IRE|
|MIDNIGHT SHOT||8||10-08||Alan Halsall||Charlie Longsdon|
|WESTERN MILLER (IRE)||7||10-07||The Pantechnicons IV||Charlie Longsdon|
|JUNCTION FOURTEEN (IRE)||9||10-07||Martin St Quinton & Tim Syder||Emma Lavelle|
|BIGBADJOHN (IRE)||9||10-07||Nigel Morris||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|LOVELY JOB (IRE)||8||10-07||Paul & Clare Rooney||Fergal O’Brien|
|CRIEVEHILL (IRE)||6||10-07||Highclere T’Bred Racing- Crievehill||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|BALLYALTON (IRE)||11||10-07||John Westwood||Ian Williams|
|CASINO MARKETS (IRE)||10||10-06||Mighty Acorn Stables||Emma Lavelle|
|VIC DE TOUZAINE (FR)||9||10-06||A Brooks & G Moore||Venetia Williams|
|DEAUVILLE DANCER (IRE)||7||10-05||Favourites Racing (Syndication) Ltd 10||David Dennis|
|PAIN AU CHOCOLAT (FR)||7||10-04||Mike and Eileen Newbould||Rebecca Menzies|
|SONNEOFPRESENTING (IRE)||8||10-04||Paul & Clare Rooney||Kim Bailey|
|KILCREA VALE (IRE)||8||10-04||Alan Spence||Nicky Henderson|
|KATACHENKO (IRE)||9||10-04||Trevor Hemmings||Donald McCain|
|HIGHLAND LODGE (IRE)||12||10-04||Mrs D Thompson||James Moffatt|
|PATRICKS PARK (IRE)||7||10-04||Bowes Lodge Stables||Willie Mullins IRE|
|HERON HEIGHTS (IRE)||9||10-03||Barry Maloney||Henry de Bromhead IRE|
|SHANAHAN’S TURN (IRE)||10||10-03||Ann & Alan Potts Limited||Colin Tizzard|
|BEAU BAY (FR)||7||10-03||Dr Richard Newland||Dr Richard Newland|
|PEARL SWAN (FR)||10||10-03||Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar||Peter Bowen|
|SAMBREMONT (FR)||8||10-03||Samuel John Hegarty||David Christie IRE|
|RATHLIN ROSE (IRE)||10||10-02||Fergus Wilson||David Pipe|
|HENRI PARRY MORGAN||10||10-02||Ednyfed & Elizabeth Morgan||Peter Bowen|
|WADSWICK COURT (IRE)||10||10-02||Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar||Peter Bowen|
|BAND OF BLOOD (IRE)||10||10-01||J A Provan & C E Stedman||Dr Richard Newland|
|ENJOY RESPONSIBLY (IRE)||9||10-01||John Beswick||Oliver Sherwood|
|THEATRE TERRITORY (IRE)||8||10-01||Robert Waley-Cohen||Warren Greatrex|
|IMJOEKING (IRE)||11||10-01||K Alexander||Lucinda Russell|
|INDIAN TEMPLE (IRE)||9||10-01||Ken Huddleston||Tim Reed|
|NOTARFBAD (IRE)||12||10-00||Govier & Brown||Jeremy Scott|
|RAMONEX (GER)||7||10-00||Carl Hinchy||Richard Hobson|
|FEDERICI||9||9-13||Jon Glews||Donald McCain|
|MINELLA ON LINE (IRE)||9||9-13||AHB Racing Partnership||Oliver Sherwood|
|CHIC NAME (FR)||6||9-13||The Boom Syndicate||Richard Hobson|
|NEWSWORTHY (IRE)||8||9-13||Richard Cavanagh||Dot Love IRE|
|ROGUE ANGEL (IRE)||10||9-13||Gigginstown House Stud||Mouse Morris IRE|
|GENTLEMAN JON||10||9-10||J P Romans||Colin Tizzard|
|UN GUET APENS (FR)||10||9-09||Drew, Sperling, Graham, Carruthers||James Ewart|
|GREYBOUGG||9||9-09||Di Vincenzo, Capps, Smith & Partner||Nigel Hawke|
|MYSTIFIABLE||10||9-09||Graham and Alison Jelley||Fergal O’Brien|
|FLYING EAGLE (IRE)||10||9-07||Karen Bowen||Peter Bowen|
|GOODTOKNOW||10||9-04||Burling Lee MacEchern Nolan Potter||Kerry Lee|
|PORTRAIT KING (IRE)||13||9-01||Douglas Pryde/James Beaumont||Patrick Griffin|
|MARINERO (IRE)||9||NQ||David Maxwell||David Christie IRE|