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Wednesday, March 25, 2009



Champion trainer Paul Nicholls could have as many as four runners in the £110,000 John Smith’s Topham Chase after the weights were revealed today for the extended two mile, five furlong contest, run over the Grand National fences on Friday, April 3.

The weights are headed by Nozic (11st 12lb) and the eight-year-old, successful in the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day, is set to bypass the John Smith’s Grand National 24 hours later in favour of the shorter trip of the John Smith’s Topham Chase.

He could be accompanied by last year’s winner Gwanako (11st 7lb), runner up to Voy Por Ustedes in the Grade One Betfair Chase at Ascot and fifth on his latest appearance in the Grade One Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and New Little Bric (10st 9lb), who returned to form with a decisive victory in the totesport.com Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Newbury at the end of February.

Mr Pointment (10st 10lb) may also return to Aintree after finishing second to leading John Smith’s Grand National contender Black Apalachi in the Listed totesport.com Becher Handicap Chase in November. The 10-year-old had previously won that race in 2007 and ran well before being pulled before the final fence in last year’s John Smith’s Grand National. Doubtful runners Herecomesthetruth (11st 3lb) and Osako D’Airy (10st 9lb) complete the Ditcheat trainer’s entries.

Nicholls reported: “Plans are fluid, but at the moment, Nozic will probably run in the John Smith’s Topham Chase because he won’t run in the John Smith’s Grand National under top weight. Harry Skelton will claim five pounds off him.

“Gwanako will also run in the race. I was pleased with his run in the Ryanair Chase and the return handicap company will be ideal for him. He could be joined by New Little Bric, who is in very good form after his Newbury win and Nick Scholfield will probably take the ride.

“Mr Pointment is also set to take his chance. He doesn’t get the trip of the John Smith’s Grand National and Sam Thomas will be on board. Herecomesthetruth will probably run in the Grade Two matalan.co.uk Mildmay Novices’ Chase earlier on the Friday, and it would have to be soft ground for Osako D’Airy to take his chance, which seems unlikely.”

While Nicholls has the highest number of entries with six to his name, David Pipe could also be well represented, with Grade Two winner Pablo Du Charmil (11st 5lb) and the prolific Consigliere (10st 2lb) among the Pond House handler’s quintet, while a trio of entries from the stable of Nigel Twiston-Davies includes Buck The Legend (10st 6lb) and last year’s runner-up Irish Raptor (9st 6lb).

Venetia Williams may run Ping Pong Sivola (10st 3lb) and Pretty Star (9st 11lb), who both finished second at the Cheltenham Festival, as well as the 2008 John Smith’s Red Rum Chase victor Stan (11st 1lb), while other notable entries include Brooklyn Brownie (10st 7lb), The Sawyer (10st 1lb) and Idle Talk (10st 1lb), who has completed on his last two appearances over the National fences.

An Irish challenge of 16 includes Finger Onthe Pulse (11st), from the stable of Co Kildare handler Tom Taaffe. The eight-year-old landed the Listed Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and went on to take a Grade Three chase at Limerick on his seasonal debut in October. He returned to Prestbury Park for his latest appearance at this year’s festival, coming home sixth in the Grade Three Freddie Williams Plate.

Taaffe revealed: “We would certainly consider both Finger Onthe Pulse and Tumbling Dice for the John Smith’s Topham Chase and we will see who looks set to run at the top of the weights before finalising any plans for the pair, especially regarding Finger Onthe Pulse.

“I was delighted with Finger Onthe Pulse at Cheltenham and I thought it was a very good run. I’ve been very happy with him since and I am keen to see how he gets on over the Aintree fences. He could potentially be a John Smith’s Grand National horse in the future.”

Taaffe could also be represented by Grade Two winner Tumbling Dice (10st 2lb), who made an early departure at the third fence in last year’s John Smith’s Grand National but is set to return for another crack over Aintree’s formidable fences this season.”

He continued: “Tumbling Dice also holds an entry in the John Smith’s Grand National and I would be leaning towards that, providing he gets into the race. He was just a bit unlucky in the race last year and I would be hopeful of running him again.

“If he misses the cut, then he could well line up in the John Smith’s Topham Chase instead. He’s been in good order since his latest run at Gowran Park and he would have no problem with the weights.”

Other Irish-trained entries include Grade One scorer Watson Lake (11st 8lb), Knight Legend (11st), Oodachee (9st 11lb) and the Willie Mullins-trained trio of Arbor Supreme (10st 11lb), Pomme Tiepy (10st 4lb) and Ballytrim (9st 8lb).

The six-day confirmation stage for the John Smith’s Topham Chase is on Saturday, March 28, with the final declaration stage at 10am on Thursday, April 2.

Class 2 £110,000 Total Prize Fund. 3.45pm, Aintree, Friday, April 3, 2009. Two miles about five and a half furlongs (over the Grand National course). For five-year-olds and upwards. Penalties: after March 22, a winner of a chase 4lb. No penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed Tuesday, March 17. Entries revealed Wednesday, March 18 (78 Entries). Weights revealed March 25. Six-day confirmation stage March 28, final declaration stage 10.00am, Thursday, April 2. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and correct up to and including racing on Monday, March 23.

Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
12/-U1P0 NOZIC (FR) 8-11-12 Sam Mcvie Paul Nicholls
525234 WATSON LAKE (IRE) 11-11-08 John Corr Noel Meade IRE
21-U125 GWANAKO (FR) 6-11-07 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
00-1360 PABLO DU CHARMIL (FR) 8-11-05 Joe Moran David Pipe
1r1111 HERECOMESTHETRUTH (IRE) 7-11-03 Maggie Findlay & Paul Barber Paul Nicholls
51P04P STAN (NZ) 10-11-01 Paul Beck Venetia Williams
5-123U6 FINGER ONTHE PULSE (IRE) 8-11-00 Conor Clarkson Tom Taaffe IRE
130250 KNIGHT LEGEND (IRE) 10-11-00 Martin St Quinton Jessica Harrington IRE
143301 CHARACTER BUILDING (IRE) 9-10-12 Mrs E Wright John Quinn
4151-133 ARBOR SUPREME (IRE) 7-10-11 J P McManus Willie Mullins IRE
6P-6220 MR POINTMENT (IRE) 10-10-10 Stockton Heath Racing Paul Nicholls
246410 OSAKO D'AIRY (FR) 7-10-09 John Webb Paul Nicholls
5P-56P1 NEW LITTLE BRIC (FR) 8-10-09 Kathy Stuart Paul Nicholls
2-62610 BISHOP'S BRIDGE (IRE) 11-10-08 S Kimber Emma Lavelle
641PPP ALWAYS WAINING (IRE) 8-10-07 Mr & Mrs Peter James Douglas Peter Bowen
124021 BROOKLYN BROWNIE (IRE) 10-10-07 Mrs K S Gaffney & J N Stevenson Malcolm Jefferson
511430 BUCK THE LEGEND (IRE) 7-10-06 Alan Parker, C Fell & A Harris Nigel Twiston-Davies
43210P PRIVATE BE 10-10-05 David and Daphne Walsh Philip Hobbs
22/-1F212 SA SUFFIT (FR) 6-10-04 Proud To Be Scottish Partnership James Ewart
U01344 POMME TIEPY (FR) 6-10-04 Mrs S Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
4/-00P12 CHURCH ISLAND (IRE) 10-10-03 Joe Craig Michael Hourigan IRE
40-306F BIBLE LORD (IRE) 8-10-03 Martin Tedham Andrew Turnell
222112 PING PONG SIVOLA (FR) 6-10-03 Jean Yeomans Venetia Williams
P40-P00 BILLYVODDAN (IRE) 10-10-02 Trevor Hemmings Henry Daly
30-0520 ONEWAY (IRE) 12-10-02 Mark Rimell Mark Rimell
0-P4630 TOO FORWARD (IRE) 13-10-02 Richard Pitman Jamie Snowden
3-15111 CONSIGLIERE (FR) 6-10-02 E A P Scouller David Pipe
6U-34435 TUMBLING DICE (IRE) 10-10-02 Mrs John Donegan Tom Taaffe IRE
P/50PP-0 CERIUM (FR) 8-10-01 Judith Wilson Paul Murphy
411545 THE SAWYER (BEL) 9-10-01 D R Fear Bob Buckler
50-2403 IDLE TALK (IRE) 10-10-01 Trevor Hemmings Donald McCain Jnr
00010-0 ARTEEA (IRE) 10-10-00 Judith Wilson David Pipe


Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
401-1P0 THE HOLLOW BOTTOM 8-9-11 The Hollow Partnership Nigel Twiston-Davies
101PP6-6 BAGAN (FR) 10-9-11 The Centaur Group Partnership VII Martin Todhunter
321230 OODACHEE 10-9-11 Modreeny Syndicate Charlie Swan IRE
4U0P-36 SAINTSAIRE (FR) 10-9-11 The Saintsaire Partnership Alex Hales
P031106 BILL'S ECHO 10-9-11 Burns Partnership Alistair Whillans
412322 PRETTY STAR (GER) 9-9-11 Lottie Hayman-Joyce and H J Racing Venetia Williams
64221P APPLEADAY (IRE) 8-9-11 D Allen Paul Webber
PP-3300 BOOMSHAKALAKA (IRE) 9-9-11 The Cigar Bar Partnership Nicky Henderson
156345 BADGERLAW (IRE) 9-9-10 Exors of the late Lynn Wilson Jessica Harrington IRE
5P-6153 NEWBAY PROP (IRE) 10-9-10 Billy Moffett Tony Martin IRE
PF00464 SOU'WESTER 9-9-10 Robert and Sarah Tizzard Colin Tizzard
PP-0551 BOB BOB BOBBIN 10-9-09 Sarah Tizzard Colin Tizzard
U315P2 SOLEIL FIX (FR) 8-9-08 David Dunsdon Nick Gifford
444-P01 BALLYTRIM (IRE) 8-9-08 Violet O'Leary Willie Mullins IRE
4220-0P WITHOUT A DOUBT 10-9-08 Malcolm Denmark Carl Llewellyn
0443112 DALDINI 7-9-08 Paul Dixon Sue Smith
041421 POLAR GUNNER 12-9-07 Mrs M E Dixon Malcolm Jefferson
333P0P IRON MAN (FR) 8-9-07 Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar Peter Bowen
2F-1010 ELLERSLIE GEORGE (IRE) 9-9-06 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
2310/-66 MONCADOU (FR) 9-9-06 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
000-P053 BLACK HILLS 10-9-06 The Kingfisher Partnership Jonathan Geake
2P-P4F0 LE TOSCAN (FR) 9-9-06 Judith Wilson David Pipe
460PU0 IRISH RAPTOR (IRE) 10-9-06 Caroline Beresford-Wylie Nigel Twiston-Davies
5400-P0 MILAN DEUX MILLE (FR) 7-9-05 Judith Wilson David Pipe
133-F35 FRANKIE FIGG (IRE) 7-9-05 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
40-0634 NOIR ET VERT (FR) 8-9-05 Plantation Stud Ferdy Murphy
F00404 A NEW STORY (IRE) 11-9-05 Storey's Over Syndicate Michael Hourigan IRE
20-P425 COSSACK DANCER (IRE) 11-9-05 The United Front Partnership Mark Bradstock
354402 ORMELLO (FR) 7-9-04 The Ormello Way Lucinda Russell
311223 FRANC VILLEZ (FR) 7-9-04 Martin Lynch Gordon Elliott IRE
6P4121 FRESH AIR AND FUN (IRE) 6-9-03 McGrath, Beighton & Hancock Jonjo O'Neill
3/11-14R SEYMAR LAD (IRE) 9-9-02 Andrew Gemmell Emma Lavelle
114-F23 NATIVE CORAL (IRE) 11-9-02 City Rovers Partnership Nicky Richards
1-P03033 NIRVANA SWING (FR) 8-9-01 Sue Smith Sue Smith
0104P04 ONIZ TIPTOES (IRE) 8-9-01 drawn2win.co.uk Partnership John Wainwright
2144P50 LIDJO DE ROUGE (FR) 10-9-01 Paul Henderson Paul Henderson
0F-5F043 CROZAN (FR) 9-9-01 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith
111-5P2R NATIAIN 10-9-01 Alistair M Brown Stuart Coltherd
120361 CORLANDE (IRE) 9-9-00 Crow Partnership Donald McCain Jnr
33-4623 TAWNIES (IRE) 9-8-13 Lady Insan Syndicate Thomas O'Leary IRE
2-11P000 NEWTON BRIDGE (IRE) 8-8-10 Barry Callaghan Gordon Elliott IRE
003523 FOND OF A DROP 8-8-07 Joseph M Doyle Dessie Hughes IRE
2-41302 SUPER BABY (FR) 7-8-07 The Ancrum Pointer James Ewart
FP0P31P MASSINI SUNSET (IRE) 9-8-00 Mr and Mrs Andrew May Nick Mitchell
30-5506 MR PRICKLE (IRE) 9-7-13 Dr Richard & Laura Newland Dr Richard Newland
2U-30P0 NOBLE BILY (FR) 8-7-08 Gregory Molen Alan Jones

78 Entries
16 Irish-trained

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