Topham Handicap Chase Betting Tips

Topham Handicap Chase Betting Tips

The Topham is a historic race. It’s been on the calendar since 1949 and always attracts millions in betting revenue right around the country.

Though it may well be coincidence, we noticed that Always Waining won this race three times and Ultragold twice, both recently. We perhaps therefore have to pay special attention to last year’s winner Bill Baxter who automatically goes straight onto the shortlist.

There are other angles however.

This is one of only three races at this meeting run over the Grand National fences, including the big one itself. The course takes some getting, even over 2m5f, and that’s especially the case this year as the 25-runner field takes on 18 fences on heavy ground.

The National fences are special with trainers doing their best to prep these horses correctly. It takes a real one to win this, with the last five winners officially rated 141, 152, 145, 135 and 133.

While that has trended down the last couple of years, it’s still a high number and it would be no surprise if a 140+ horse won this. These are our six against the field:

Main Contenders

Bill Baxter

Last year’s winner deserves lots of respect, but we must remain vigilant from a betting point of view.

The Warren Greatrex runner beat Fantastic Lady in this race twelve months ago, but he did come into the race in winning form and when certainly possessing an upward trajectory as far as form goes.

That’s not the case anymore after several reverses, in fact we could argue he has done nothing but regress on the track since winning the last Topham.

Empire Steel

Empire Steel is a very good horse and he comes into this on the back of a nice win at Kelso. He has plenty to recommend him as far as ground, class and staying ability goes, but there are also negatives.

He seems to do his winning at Kelso, less so elsewhere, and he is ten now. We can expect a solid performance but he’ll need improvement to win this which is far from certain to come.

Fantastic Lady

Last year’s runner-up represents Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville.

She was pulled up when last seen 105 days ago and we all know that the Henderson team has been shockingly out of form.

On paper this mare has a great chance, but it all depends on how well she is which is guesswork.


The Skeltons are going for another big handicap and it’s with a horse who missed the Cheltenham Festival, which could be positive.

In this case though, Flegmatik hasn’t been laid out in any way. He’s been steadily improving, even winning over three miles at Kempton, and though it sounds too easy if he simply keeps climbing the ladder he will take a race like this.

Kandoo Kid

An interesting runner. Rated 142, Kandoo Kid has the class and at eight years old likely has plenty more improvement to come over fences, especially if this type of race is his niche.

Paul Nicholls’ runner has finished in the first two on 5 of his six chase runs. The only time he didn’t was when the ground was good, therefore too quick, at Doncaster.

Furthermore, last time out he ran on the slowest ground he has encountered so far and ran a comfortable career best in finishing second in the Greatwood Gold Cup.

If another career best is coming, which looks likely, then he’s ahead of the handicapper and will love the race conditions.

Your Darling

Based purely on the numbers, Your Darling has a proper chance in this race and so makes the list. He’s also been off the track 140 days so will be fresh, in fact he may have been specially prepared for this event.

On the downside; his last two wins have come at Ascot and, even if there’s no track bias for him, his three chase wins have all come on ground much quicker than this. It may be that the weather has just caught his connections out.


As we said, it’ll take a good horse to win this. Fantastic Lady pulled up when we last saw her and we all know how out of sorts the Henderson yard was around the time of the Cheltenham Festival.

We aren’t entirely certain that’s completely resolved. If it is, she is a big each-way danger here, but if it’s not then it only increases confidence in the selection which is KANDOO KID ahead of her and Flegmatik.

Paul Nicholls’ runner is rated 142, is rock-solid, always seems to be on the premises, is still getting better and will love these conditions. Harry Cobden rides.

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