Bowen out to enhance terrific Topham record at Aintree
The Crabbie’s Topham Chase over the National fences is the highlight of Ladies Day at Aintree, and trainer Peter Bowen looks to have a strong hand in this year’s contest as he bids to win the race for a remarkable fifth time.
The Welsh handler has won the race four times in the last seven years, having taken the honours with Dunbrody Millar (2007) and the remarkable Always Waining (2010, 2011 and 2012), who created history when becoming the only triple winner of the race.
His three entries in this year’s contest on Friday, April 4th, are Ballybough Gorta, Sir Du Bearn and Kian’s Delight.
The former looks the pick of the trio having finished a fine fourth over the National fences in the Betfred Becher Chase in December.
He stayed on well to be beaten 7 1/4 lengths by Chance Du Roy off a mark of 129 after getting outpaced three from home, and is set to race of the same rating in the Topham.
The seven-year-old is a consistent sort who has won seven of his 15 races over fences and also been placed three times.
He is a progressive type who likes to race up with the pace, and horses who have raced at the head of affairs have fared very well in the race in recent years.
The fact he has experience over the unique National fences is another major plus, as eight of the last 10 winners of the Topham had run over them before.
His stable companion Sir Du Bearn would also not be without a chance on the pick of his form but needs heavy ground to be seen at his best, while Kian’s Delight is unexposed over fences having had just six starts over the larger obstacles.
Lack of experience could be a handicap for the latter, but his form on his penultimate start when third to Bouggler in a competitive listed handicap chase at Market Rasen would give him a live outside chance if taking to the Aintree fences.