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Shantou Flyer tops weights for Randox Health Topham Chase as Moffatt plans Aintree return for Highland Lodge

Shantou Flyer heads the weights on 11st 12lb for the £140,000 G3 Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase, run over the Grand National fences at Aintree on day two of the Randox Health Grand National Festival, Ladies Day, Friday, April 13, it was announced today.


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.

Horse Age Wgt Owner Trainer
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

79 entries

17 Irish-trained