Full race preview and free betting tips for the 3.40pm Topham Chase at Aintree.
The second of three races run over the national fences during the course of the Aintree Festival is the Topham Handicap Chase. Year on year the race poses a real challenge for punters and bookmakers alike. 30 horses go to post in what looks to be an intriguing renewal. Here is my best bet for the race!
Progressive novice Double Ross (10/1 Betfred) heads the betting. The Twiston-Davies family have a real natural jumper in this horse and it would be difficult not to see him taking to these fences. Ultra consistent this season, he proved a Graded performer when finishing two length behind Taquin Du Seuil in the JLT. He carries a lot of weight in this contest (second only to Champion Court) which is a definite negative, but he seems an uncomplicated sort and looks the worthy favourite.
Course form is a massive positive for BIG FELLA THANKS (16/1 BetVictor) with eight out of the previous ten winners having previous experience of the fences. His fading performance in the Becher when travelling nicely before the Canal Turn is a clear pointer to a shorter trip and he looks better suited to this test than to the Grand National. The only concern is that, despite being well handicapped, he may lack the finishing power possessed by the other young horses over this sort of distance but, while age may count against him, his experience his a huge benefit.
Lost Legend (14/1 bet365) is an interesting runner. Richie Mclernon looked to have a plenty in hand when turning for home on his most recent start but was only able to win by just 3/4 of a length from Nearest the Pin. He may well have been worth more than the winning margin and gets a lovely racing weight here. He brings to this race some solid handicap form and the forecast good ground should definitely aid his chances.
Dunowen Point (16/1 Betfred) has been tumbling in the weights and as such could prove well treated if able to replicate the form that saw him finish fourth in last year’s renewal. He’ll be racing off a full 12 lb below his best effort at Aintree when carrying 10-13. Despite this, Donald McCain’s eight year-old comes here on a bit of a recovery mission and might well still be vulnerable. His recent conquerer Tahiti Pearl (25/1 Stan James) also lines up but will be racing off a career high mark. While Sue Smith has trained a national winner her strike rate is not astounding at Aintree (2-44) and Tahiti Pearl’s chances look a little slim.
Standing Ovation (12/1 BetVictor) is a horse definitely worth a mention. He remains on a stiff enough mark but he acquitted himself well at Cheltenham and arrives here on a nice weight. The fear with this horse is that his best form came at the start of the season when others were lacking fitness and he may well struggle now.
The Irish wildcard He’llberemembered (20/1 bet365) is another consistent handicapper, although he may find a few improving types in opposition and remains high enough on his current mark.
On balance, BIG FELLA THANKS has the requisite jumping ability and can still showcase his skills as a 12 year-old. He races off a good mark and the Aintree veteran should give a good account.
BIG FELLA THANKS (E/W) (16/1 BetVictor)
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