Topham Chase

The Topham Chase is a Grade 2 handicap over the famous Grand National fences at the Aintree festival in April.

It takes place on the second day of the meeting over two miles and five furlongs, the last race run over the National fences before the big race on Saturday.

Always Waining won the race for three consecutive seasons for trainer Peter Bowen from 2010 to 2012.

Find out more about the Topham Chase:

Race Overview

To come.

Famous Topham Chase Winners

The Topham was first run in 1949 with victory going to Cadamstown.

Culworth became the first dual winner of the race in 1950-51 and was soon followed into the record books by Roughan (1957-58).

Our Greenwood set a new weight-carrying record when defying 12 stone for Jim Dreaper and Tommy Carberry in 1975. His achievement was not matched until Dublin Flyer won in 1995, trained by Tim Forster and ridden by Brendan Powell.

The Topham Chase has always been one of the most competitive handicap chases of the season and even the greatest trainers have struggled to register a success. Fulke Walwyn gained his solitary victory in the race with Beacon Time in 1982. The Topham eluded trainers Fred Winter and Josh Gifford, although both had been successful in the race as a jockey.

Paul Nicholls has enjoyed plenty of success at Aintree but Gwanako (2008) is his only Topham victory to date.

Always Waining was a classic example of a race specialist, winning for three successive seasons from 2010 to 2012. He showed very little form elsewhere but seemed to come alive at Liverpool in the spring.

Ultragold won it in 2017 and 2018 but connections opted to run him in the Grand National the following season in which he was eventually pulled up.

Trio D’Alene won for Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty in 2013 and would go on to win the Hennessy Gold Cup the following season. It was the first of three successive victories in the race for Henderson. Triolo D’Alene would later run in the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup and in two Grand Nationals but failed to feature.

Key Topham Chase Trials

Four of the last eleven Topham Chase winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival on their previous start.

Two had been unplaced in the Festival Plate and two in the Grand Annual. As none of them had troubled the judge they would have taken some finding and it is difficult to pinpoint key trials for the Topham Chase.

It is more a race for course specialists, especially those who have been waiting for some decent spring ground.

This is normally the last run of the season for most horses but Triolo D’Alene (2013) did win at Huntingdon later in the month and Livelovelaugh (2021) was pulled up at Punchestown.

Repeat winners Always Waining and Ultragold returned to win the same race a year later but were only tenth and fourteenth respectively when tackling the Grand National on their final Aintree visits.

Topham Chase Betting Trends

Favourites have a poor record in the Topham Chase and only one has obliged in the last twenty years.

In the last eleven seasons only three winners have been shorter than 10-1; Ma Filleule (2014) 9-1, Cadmium (2019) 8-1 and Livelovelaugh (2021) 15-2.

The longest priced recent winner was Ultragold at 50-1 when recording his first victory in 2017.

Always Waining was a 22-1 chance in 2010, the same price as Eastlake in 2016. Cregg House also returned at 50-1 when winning for Shane Donohoe and Davy Russell in 2005.

There does not seem to be any pattern to the age of the winner either.

Cyfor Malta (1998) and Gwanako (2008) are the only two horses to win this race at the age of five.

Since Gwanako’s victory every age from 6 to 11 has recorded at least one victory.

The oldest winner was Toby Balding’s Sirrah Jay who won under Adrian Maguire as a thirteen-year-old in 1993.

Seven of the last eleven winners had previous form at Aintree with five of those having won at least once at this venue.

The race does seem to favour experienced chasers with nine of the last eleven having raced 13 or more times over fences.

Surprisingly, Triolo D’Alene (2013) was one of the lowest officially rated winners in recent times on 132.

Always Waining was rated 5lbs lower on 128 for his first victory and was 10lbs higher when completing his hat-trick.

The highest-rated winners during the past eleven seasons were Rajdhani Express (2015) and Cadmium (2019) on 152.

Topham Chase – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Nicky Henderson tops the training honours here with five winners.

He won it for the first time with Won’t Be Gone Long in 1990 and sixteen years later with Liberthine. He then rattled off a hat-trick through Triolo D’Alene (2013), Ma Filleule (2014) and Rajdhani Express (2015).

Peter Bowen won the race four times within a six-year period. Three of Bowen’s victories came courtesy of stable stalwart Always Waining (2010 – 2012) and he had previously won it with Dunbrody Millar (2007).

Willie Mullins won it with Its Time For A Win in 2002 but had to wait until 2019 – 2021 for his next two victories with Cadmium and Livelovelaugh.

Richard Dunwoody and Barry Geraghty each won it three times, their last victories coming with The Antartex (1992) and Eastlake (2016) respectively.

Betting on the Topham Chase

The Topham Chase is always fiercely competitive, although punters will take some encouragement from the recent well-supported victories of Cadmium and Livelovelaugh.

The poor record of favourites speaks for itself and the best option here may be to look for previous course winners, ideally with some experience over the tricky Grand National fences.

Summary

To come.

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If you do choose to bet, please bet responsibly.

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