Mullins duo head weights for Randox Health Topham Chase

Ballycasey (11st 12lb) and Alelchi Inois (11st 9lb), who have both captured G2 chases this season, head the weights for the £120,000 G3 Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase (4.05pm) on Ladies Day, Friday, April 7, at Aintree’s Randox Health Grand National Festival.
They are trained by Ireland’s champion Jump trainer Willie Mullins, who saddled Its Time For A Win to victory in the two mile, five furlong handicap chase over the Grand National fences in 2002.
The seven Mullins’ contenders in the Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase also feature valuable Leopardstown handicap chase runner-up The Crafty Butcher (10st 4lb) and G2 J T McNamara National Hunt Chase third Haymount (10st 13lb).
Both Alelchi Inois and The Crafty Butcher remain in the feature race of the Randox Health Grand National Festival, the £1-million Randox Health Grand National on Saturday, April 8, though the latter is unlikely to get a place in the 40-strong line-up.
Betway, the official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival, has priced, for the Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase, Ballycasey at 33/1, Alelchi Inois at 33/1, The Crafty Butcher at 14/1 and Haymount at 25/1.
G3 Ultima Handicap Chase fifth Go Conquer (10st 1lb, Jonjo O’Neill) and Seefood (10st 1lb, Dr Richard Newland), second over the Grand National fences in December’s Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase, are the 10/1 joint-favourites with Betway for the Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase.
O’Neill may also be represented by last year’s winner Eastlake (16/1, 11st 4lb), while the Paul Nicholls-trained As De Mee (12/1, 10st 10lb) could also aim for a repeat success over the Grand National fences, having beaten Seefood in the Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase earlier this season.
A powerful squad from Britain’s champion Jump trainer Nicholls, who is trying to win his 11th trainers’ title, includes Bouvreuil (12/1, 10st 11lb) and Art Mauresque (33/1 11st 5lb), who were third and eighth respectively in the G3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at the Cheltenham Festival, recent Newbury winner Warriors Tale (12/1, 10st 9lb), and G2 Pendil Novices’ Chase scorer Frodon(14/1, 11st 5lb).
Nicky Henderson, currently in the lead for the trainers’ championship, has O O Seven (20/1, 11st 4lb), Listed Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase second Gold Present (14/1, 10st 8lb) and Randox Health Grand National entry Cocktails At Dawn (33/1, 10st 6lb) to choose from.
Other leading contenders among the 60 contenders going forward include Navan G2 Chase victor A Toi Phil (14/1, 11st 3lb, Gordon Elliott IRE) and Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase thirdHenryville (14/1, Harry Fry, 10st 6lb).
Philip Dempsey, who trains in County Kildare, Ireland, is looking forward to sending over Mr Diablo(10st 8lb). The eight-year-old was a cosy winner of a valuable Leopardstown handicap chase over an extended two miles and five furlongs on March 5 – his first appearance in almost five months. The eight-year-old’s regular jockey is the trainer’s son Luke Dempsey.
A 33/1 chance with Betway, the son of Presenting showed a high level of form as a novice last season, coming home second behind future Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John in a beginners’ chase and filling the same spot in a novices’ handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival.
Dempsey revealed: “The plan is to come over to Aintree with Mr Diablo. It was a good performance to win off top-weight at Leopardstown and he schooled over the National-style fences at the Curragh last Friday, which went well.
“We put a tongue-tie on him last time, although I am not sure how much of a difference it made. He has never had a wind issue and is a good horse on his day, but it certainly won’t do any harm to put it on again.
“He was second in a €100,000 chase at Punchestown last year, when he had some very good horses behind him including the Galway Plate winner Lord Scoundrel, but then he got a bad cut on a tendon when he ran at Roscommon.
“He has won on all sorts of ground and he’s a good moving horse. He has mixed it with some of the best around at times and you would like to dream that he could be a National horse one day.”
The three-day Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree commences with Grand Opening Day on Thursday, April 6.
Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase – Betway prices:
10/1 Go Conquer, Seefood; 12/1 As De Mee, Bouvreuil, Warriors Tale; 14/1 A Toi Phil, Frodon, Gold Present, Henryville, The Crafty Butcher; 16/1 Blazer, Eastlake, Stellar Notion, Third Intention; 20/1 O O Seven, Thomas Brown, Thomas Crapper; 25/1 Ballykan, Clarcam, Haymount, Irish Cavalier, Knock House, Sambremont, Seventh Sky, The Paparrazi Kid, Vid De Touzaine, Vintage Vinnie, Viva Steve; 33/1 Alelchi Inois, Art Mauresque, Ballycasey, Bright New Dawn, Cocktails At Dawn, Gas Line Boy, Katachenko, Katnap, Morning Reggie, Mr Diablo, O Maonlai, Quite By Chance, Sir Note, Straidnahanna, Witness In Court; 40/1 Ruben Cotter; 50/1 Heist, Home Farm, Ultragold; 66/1 Aachen, Definite Ruby, Fort Worth, Gowanauthat, Imjoeking, Long Lunch, Peckhamecho, Portrait King, Solar Impulse, Thomond, Tiquer; 80/1 Gone Too Far; 100/1 Cody Wyoming, Father Edward
Each-way 1/4 odds, 1-2-3-4
 
Irish Thoroughbred Marketing to sponsor awards for leading trainer and leading owner
Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM) will generously support awards for the leading trainer and leading owner at the three-day Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree from Thursday, April 6 to Saturday, April 8.
The awards will be awarded on the basis of winners over the three days, counting back to placed horses in the event of a tie.
 
Charles O’Neill, CEO of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, said: “Irish Thoroughbred Marketing is delighted to sponsor the Leading Owner and Leading Trainer Award at the Randox Health Grand National Festival.
“This comes in addition to our sponsorship of the Leading Owner Award at Cheltenham.
“The Aintree Festival is one of the most globally-watched sporting events where Irish horses have excelled over the years and we are delighted for the first time to be associated with this great festival. We wish all owners & trainers the best of luck at the festival.”
The award for leading jockey at the Randox Health Grand National Festival continues to be sponsored by Racing UK.
The Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase
Grade 3 handicap chase, £120,000 Total Prize Fund. Friday, April 7, 2m 5f 19yds over the Grand National fences. For five-year-olds and upwards. Penalties: after March 26, a winner of a chase 4lb; no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed March 21, entries revealed March 22 (61 entries, one since scratched), six-day confirmations April 1, final declarations 10am April 6. Maximum field 30 runners.
HORSE
Age
Wgt
Owner
Trainer
BALLYCASEY (IRE)
10
11-12
Susannah Ricci
Willie Mullins IRE
ALELCHI INOIS (FR)
9
11-09
L McMahon/Mrs F Murphy/F Mangan
Willie Mullins IRE
IRISH CAVALIER (IRE)
8
11-08
A McIver
Rebecca Curtis
FRODON (FR)
5
11-05
P J Vogt & Ian Fogg
Paul Nicholls
ART MAURESQUE (FR)
7
11-05
Mrs Johnny de la Hey
Paul Nicholls
EASTLAKE (IRE)
11
11-04
J P McManus
Jonjo O’Neill
O O SEVEN (IRE)
7
11-04
Triermore Stud
Nicky Henderson
CLARCAM (FR)
7
11-04
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
A TOI PHIL (FR)
7
11-03
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
THIRD INTENTION (IRE)
10
11-02
Robert and Sarah Tizzard
Colin Tizzard
HAYMOUNT (IRE)
8
10-13
Mrs C M Hurley
Willie Mullins IRE
THE PAPARRAZI KID (IRE)
10
10-13
Byerley Racing Syndicate
Willie Mullins IRE
STELLAR NOTION (IRE)
9
10-12
Roger Brookhouse
Henry de Bromhead IRE
QUITE BY CHANCE
8
10-11
T Hamlin, J M Dare, J W Snook, J T Warner
Colin Tizzard
BOUVREUIL (FR)
6
10-11
J P McManus
Paul Nicholls
AS DE MEE (FR)
7
10-10
The Stewart Family & Judi Dench
Paul Nicholls
WARRIORS TALE
8
10-09
Michelle And Dan Macdonald
Paul Nicholls
BRIGHT NEW DAWN (IRE)
10
10-09
Boultbee Brooks Ltd
Venetia Williams
GAS LINE BOY (IRE)
11
10-09
The Three Graces
Ian Williams
GOLD PRESENT (IRE)
7
10-08
John & Barbara Cotton
Nicky Henderson
MR DIABLO (IRE)
8
10-08
Aidan Glynn
Philip Dempsey IRE
BLAZER (FR)
6
10-08
J P McManus
Willie Mullins IRE
SEVENTH SKY (GER)
10
10-07
Fidelma Toole
Charlie Mann
THOMAS BROWN
8
10-06
The Corse Lawners
Harry Fry
COCKTAILS AT DAWN
9
10-06
R J H Geffen & Sir John Ritblat
Nicky Henderson
HOME FARM (IRE)
10
10-06
Chris Jones
Andrew Lynch IRE
KNOCK HOUSE (IRE)
8
10-06
Tim Leslie
Donald McCain
BALLYKAN
7
10-06
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nigel Twiston-Davies
HENRYVILLE
9
10-06
R P B Michaelson & E M Thornton
Harry Fry
O MAONLAI (IRE)
9
10-06
Colin Perry
Tom George
STRAIDNAHANNA (IRE)
8
10-05
M B Scholey & R H Scholey
Sue Smith
SAMBREMONT (FR)
7
10-05
Shanakiel Racing Syndicate
Willie Mullins IRE
RUBEN COTTER (IRE)
11
10-05
Sean Conway
Mark McNiff
VIVA STEVE (IRE)
9
10-04
Paul & Clare Rooney
Fergal O’Brien
THE CRAFTY BUTCHER (IRE)
10
10-04
P Byrne/P W Mullins/D Ryan/I Madigan
Willie Mullins IRE
THOMAS CRAPPER
10
10-03
Apisukcom
Robin Dickin
ULTRAGOLD (FR)
9
10-02
Brocade Racing J P Romans Terry Warner
Colin Tizzard
VINTAGE VINNIE (IRE)
8
10-02
Trembath, Hyde, Outhart & Hill
Rebecca Curtis
AACHEN
13
10-01
Tony Bloom
Venetia Williams
GO CONQUER (IRE)
8
10-01
Paul & Clare Rooney
Jonjo O’Neill
SEEFOOD (IRE)
10
10-01
C E Stedmand & J A Provan
Dr Richard Newland
SIR NOTE (FR)
7
9-13
G F Chesneaux
James Eustace
SOLAR IMPULSE (FR)
7
9-13
Andy Bell & Fergus Lyons
Christopher Kellett
VIC DE TOUZAINE (FR)
8
9-12
A Brooks & G Moore
Venetia Williams
KATNAP (FR)
10
9-11
Mrs F Murphy/Mrs A McManus/Mrs T Grant
Joseph O’Brien IRE
KATACHENKO (IRE)
8
9-11
Trevor Hemmings
Donald McCain
IMJOEKING (IRE)
10
9-11
K Alexander
Lucinda Russell
DEFINITE RUBY (IRE)
9
9-10
James W Power
Gordon Elliott IRE
GOWANAUTHAT (IRE)
9
9-10
Mrs J M Mayo
Charlie Mann
FATHER EDWARD (IRE)
8
9-10
Fergus Wilson
David Pipe
HEIST (IRE)
7
9-10
M Deren
Patrick Griffin IRE
GONE TOO FAR
9
9-09
Fergus Wilson
David Pipe
LONG LUNCH
8
9-09
Battersby, Birchall, Halsall & Vestey
Charlie Longsdon
FORT WORTH (IRE)
8
9-08
Sleeping Panther Racing
Jonjo O’Neill
PORTRAIT KING (IRE)
12
9-04
James Beaumont & Douglas Pryde
Patrick Griffin IRE
MORNING REGGIE
8
9-03
Tim Syder
Oliver Sherwood
TIQUER (FR)
9
9-03
Burnham P & D Ltd
Alan Jones
CODY WYOMING
11
8-11
Charlie Mann Racing Club I
Charlie Mann
THOMOND (IRE)
9
8-11
Patricia Hunt
Noel Meade IRE
PECKHAMECHO (IRE)
11
8-08
G Thompson
Sophie Leech
 
60 entries remain
(Witness In Court scratched)
17 Irish-trained
 
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