Although it will always live in the shadow of the Grand National, the Topham Chase provides fans with a chance to really soak up the atmosphere ahead of the main event. The Chase is a Grade 3 National Hunt handicap, and is run over a distance of 2 miles and 5 ½ furlongs. Compared to the National, the Topham Chase has a much shorter history, having been first run in 1949. It has remained a permanent fixture at Aintree ever since.
As ever, the Topham Chase will be held on Ladies Day, which is 5th April this year. The selections haven’t been fully confirmed yet but the ante-post markets have certainly identified their favourites. Here, we’ll run you through all the leading contenders and make sure to check out Topham Chase betting on Betfair for the rest of the entries.
Early favourite Janika will be making his debut at Aintree in the Topham, and the bookies are expecting big things from the French entrant. Trainer Nicky Henderson recently acquired Janika and has seen him finish runner-up in his last three races, including the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Festival. Janika typically runs over two miles and his pace and power will see him in the reckoning.
Theatre Territory 12/1
This will be Theatre Territory’s third outing at Aintree and his second consecutive run in the Topham, where he finished third in 2018. The nine-year-old has plenty of experience but he hasn’t actually won a race since 2016. Regardless, the bookies are predicting a strong performance. This season, Theatre Territory has only run over three miles so that in itself should give punters plenty to think about ahead of the race.
Last year’s favourite failed to live up to the bookies’ expectations and finished ninth after a relatively tame run, and Willie Mullins will be keen to see a vast improvement from Polidam in 2019. The French thoroughbred has it in his arsenal to cause a mini upset, and his famous trainer will be doing everything possible to make sure he has a strong race. Polidam’s recent form doesn’t read too great, but he is more than apt at running over two miles so he’ll certainly be worth considering.
All eyes will be fixated on Ultragold as he looks to make it a third consecutive win in the Topham, and if he can pull it off, he’ll match Always Waining’s record that was set in 2012. The French thoroughbred hasn’t displayed his best form so far this season, but that won’t deter punters too much and his 14/1 price provides excellent value for money. It’ll be intriguing to see how Ultragold performs, but the smart thinking would suggest he’ll be a strong contender.
Warriors Tale 14/1
He struggled in last year’s Grand National, but Warriors Tale could be a surprise package in the Topham in 2019. The ten-year-old has already tasted success at Aintree this season, winning the Betway Grand Sefton Handicap Chase in December. It’ll be Warriors Tale’s fifth run at Aintree so he certainly has the experience to handle the rigours of the track, and his price provides plenty of value. Trainer Paul Nicholls has enjoyed relative success with Warriors Tale and he’ll be pushing for a win in the Topham.