John Smith's Topham Chase
Listed, Aintree
£56,330 added,
5yo plus,
2m 5½f, Class 1
Friday 9th April 2010

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1 Always Waining 22/1
2 Scotsirish 14/1
3 Isn't That Lucky 16/1
4 Dooneys Gate 28/1
NR: Private Be, Silver Adonis (IRE)
27 ran Distances: 12l, 8l, hd
TIME 5m 27.30s (slow by 6.30s)

Always Waining ran away with an incident-packed renewal of the John Smith's Topham Chase over the National fences at Aintree.

Always Waining
© Grossick Racing Photography

Always Waining
Ridden by Brian Hughes for Peter Bowen, the nine-year-old could be seen travelling and jumping sweetly throughout.

Howard Johnson's Frankie Figg set a tremendous pace up front in the hands of Wilson Renwick and for a long way the race only concerned the front two.

Always Waining was definitely travelling the better when Frankie Figg unseated Renwick two fences from home which meant he came home in splendid isolation.

The winner finished fourth in the race last year but was pulled up over hurdles on his last outing, meaning he was sent off at 22-1.

Willie Mullins' Scotsirish ran a cracker under top weight to come home second but he was 12 lengths away. Isn't that Lucky and the Mullins-trained Dooneys Gate took the minor honours.

Hughes said: "That was amazing. It's all down to him. There were some great jumps, he's not very big, but he's brave.

"And Peter Bowen has done some training performance. He said he had him back to his best this week.

"I'm just delighted to get such a brilliant spare ride. I've had a few nice victories but to have a winner over the National fences is something else."

Trainer's wife Karen Bowen added: "He did it brilliantly. A lot of people had written him off but I had confidence in him because he'd run really well round here last year. He finished fourth and he jumped absolutely brilliantly.

"I thought the big fences would bring a revival out of him, but I didn't realise just how much.

"He was really well handicapped. He was off 12lb less than when he was fourth in this race last year.

"He hasn't been running up to form, but I think he's been keeping a bit up his sleeve for himself. He just loves these fences."

Frankie Figg's rider Renwick said: "I had a great ride off him. I thought he still had every chance, he was still picking up.

"He's put down at the second-last and got in a bit tight and his backend came up a bit high.

"I was happy with him, I'd got a breather into him. It's still a long way from the second-last, but I was still happy with him."

Mullins was thrilled with his pair, adding: "We're delighted with both of them and just disappointed for Katie (Walsh) that the other one (Pomme Tiepy) went at the first fence.

"I think both horses will have an Aintree National entry next year, the way they jumped round, these fences hold no fears for them."

John Smith's Topham Chase (Listed Handicap)
2m 5f 110y
(5yo+, 2m 5f 110y, Class 1, 27 ran)
Winner £56,330
Going: Good to Soft

Pos Dist Horse
Age Weight
Jockey SP
1st 17 Always Waining (IRE)
9, 10-0 p
B Hughes 22/1
2nd 12 1 Scotsirish (IRE)
9, 11-12
Paul Townend 14/1
3rd 8 16 Isn't That Lucky
7, 10-2 (+2)
Mr S Waley-Cohen (5) 16/1
4th hd 5 Dooneys Gate (IRE)
9, 11-3
D J Condon 28/1
5th 18 Oodachee
11, 10-0 pt
D G Hogan (3) 20/1
6th hd 3 In Compliance (IRE)
10, 11-5
D N Russell 18/1
7th 8 8 Offshore Account (IRE)
10, 10-7 t
D J Casey 7/1f
8th ½ 22 Pak Jack (FR)
10, 10-0
G Lee 20/1
9th 3 23 Gaora Lane (IRE)
9, 10-0 p1
Brian Harding 50/1
10th 7 19 Zacharova (IRE)
7, 10-0
Aidan Coleman 66/1
11th hd 24 Commemoration Day (IRE)
9, 10-0 b
P Hide 100/1
12th 8 10 Silver Birch (IRE)
13,10-5 pt
J M Maguire 25/1
13th 5 21 Qhilimar (FR)
6, 10-0 b
Harry Skelton (3) 12/1
14th 9 27 Oulart (IRE)
11, 10-0 p
R Loughran 80/1
15th 27 15 Diablo (IRE)
8, 10-2
T Molloy (3) 20/1
PU 4 Pasco (SWI)
7, 11-5
R Walsh 15/2
F 6 Duers (IRE)
8, 10-8
A J Mcnamara 33/1
F 29 Garleton (IRE)
9, 10-0
Tjade Collier 80/1
F 2 Panjo Bere (FR)
7, 11-6
J E Moore 28/1
F 13 Plaisir D'Estruval (FR)
7, 10-3
P Carberry 16/1
F 25 Pomme Tiepy (FR)
7, 10-0
Ms K Walsh 28/1
F 9 Prudent Honour (IRE)
8, 10-5
R M Power 16/1
F 20 Wee Robbie
10, 10-0
L Treadwell 10/1
UR 12 Battlecry
9, 10-4
P J Brennan 16/1
UR 26 Boomshakalaka (IRE)
10, 10-0
A Tinkler 50/1
UR 14 Frankie Figg (IRE)
8, 10-2
K Renwick 16/1
UR 11 Magic Sky (FR)
10, 10-4
Mr O Greenall (3) 22/1
WD 7 Private Be
11, 10-7
T J O'Brien 20/1
NR 28 Silver Adonis (IRE)
9, 10-0
A Glassonbury