Topham Chase Friday 5th April 2013 

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Triolo D'Alene Wins Topham for Henderson

1 Triolo D'Alene 14/1
2 Walkon 16/1
3 Last Time D'Albain 16/1
4 Dunowen Point 33/1
NR: Gansey (IRE)
29 ran Distances: ¾l, 5l, 3l
TIME 5m 30.00s (slow by 9.00s)

Triolo D'Alene held on to claim a thrilling John Smith's Topham Chase at Aintree for the red-hot combination of Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty.

Triolo D'Alene
© Racehorse Photos

Triolo D'Alene

Henderson’s first reaction was to pay tribute to the back-room team at his Seven Barrows stables in Lambourn. “I know we trainers always say getting a horse to the races is a team thing,” he said, “and so it is every time.

“But with this horse it has all been a humungous effort by everyone at home. He has not been easy all season, he’s had respiratory problems. But the last week has been a particular nightmare.

“We always felt this race might be the one for him, he had just the right profile for it  – he’s a two and a half miler who stays three miles, the ground had come right for him and he’d really enjoyed schooling over the practice Aintree fence they built for us in Lambourn.

“Everything had been going sweetly until he pulled a shoe off last week. When I go to bed I take my shoes off. Somehow he did as well – he pulled one off in his box overnight and then stood on the thing.

“So he had a sore foot and since then he’s spent his time with his foot in poultices, in ice, in salt, in foot spas, the lot. And we managed not to miss any work with him. Everyone worked their socks off with him and it’s a massive thank you to everyone at home.”

Barry Geraghty said: “He’s jumped well. he’s was very clever.”

Triolo was tackling the Grand National fences for the first time as well as winning his first Grade Three, having being pulled up in Grade Three BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham back in November.

Geraghty, who regularly rides the six-year-old Epalo gelding for trainer Nicky Henderson, added: “At a couple of them I asked him and he put down – he was very good. He’s a young horse and could be a John Smith’s Grand National horse next year. I thought the fences rode great and were a little bit more forgiving. I think they have done a good job with them.”


John Smith's Topham Chase (Handicap)
£120,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 5f 110y, Class 1
29 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Triolo D'Alene
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
10st 7lbs
14 - 1
A King
W Hutchinson
11st 7lbs
16 - 1
3/4 length
Last Time D'albain
L P Cusack
B J Cooper
10st 12lbs
16 - 1
5 lengths
Dunowen Point
D McCain Jnr
J M Maguire
10st 13lbs
33 - 1
3 lengths
Gullible Gordon
P Bowen
J E Moore
10st 1lbs
11 - 1
2 1/4 lengths
Tranquil Sea
E J O'Grady
Andrew J McNamara
11st 10lbs
33 - 1
9 lengths
Sizing Santiago
P Bowen
B Hughes
10st 0lbs
25 - 1
Short Head
Montoya's Son
Tim Vaughan
K Renwick
10st 0lbs
50 - 1
4 lengths
Chance Du Roy
P J Hobbs
R Johnson
11st 7lbs
16 - 1
1/2 length
W P Mullins
P Townend
11st 4lbs
20 - 1
2 lengths
Gus Macrae
Miss R Curtis
T J O'Brien
10st 5lbs
40 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
Fistral Beach
P F Nicholls
D A Jacob
11st 6lbs
20 - 1
1 1/4 length
P F Nicholls
Nick Scholfield
10st 6lbs
25 - 1
1 length
Arctic Ben
H D Daly
Jake Greenall
10st 0lbs
22 - 1
2 lengths
Miss V Williams
S Thomas
10st 12lbs
40 - 1
8 lengths
Hector's Choice
R Lee
D F O'Regan
11st 3lbs
18 - 1
12 lengths
Jamsie Hall
G Elliott
D J Condon
10st 3lbs
12 - 1
11 lengths
N F Glynn
M J Ferris
10st 3lbs
50 - 1
32 lengths
Pacha Du Polder
P F Nicholls
Ryan Mahon
11st 12lbs
25 - 1
3 3/4 lengths
Little Josh
N A Twiston-Davies
S Twiston-Davies
11st 8lbs
11 - 1
Giorgio Quercus
N J Henderson
D Bass
10st 11lbs
33 - 1
There's No Panic
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
10st 9lbs
9 - 1
Bennys Mist
Miss V Williams
Aidan Coleman
10st 7lbs
12 - 1
Tim Vaughan
D C Costello
10st 5lbs
11 - 1
State Benefit
N J Henderson
A Tinkler
10st 4lbs
25 - 1
Dashing George
Dr R D P Newland
T Scudamore
10st 4lbs
50 - 1
Regal D'estruval
Dr R D P Newland
L Treadwell
10st 2lbs
28 - 1
Mister First
R Hennessy
A E Lynch
10st 0lbs
25 - 1
Billy Cuckoo
T Coyle
Brian Harding
10st 0lbs
80 - 1
Mrs S J Smith
Ryan Mania
10st 12lbs



The second and third horses home in the John Smith’s Topham Chase may well be aimed at next year’s Grand National following excellent first-time performances over Aintree’s unique spruce fences.

The Alan King-trained Walkon was beaten just three-quarters of a length by Triolo D’Alene but owner Max McNeill was celebrating as if the eight-year-old had won. He said: “He ran superbly well and we weren’t really expecting so much. He’s had a tough season – second in the BetVictor Gold Cup on heavy ground, second in the December Gold Cup and then we had a go at the Cleeve Hurdle thinking that we might have a go at the World Hurdle like everybody else. He ran a super race at the Cheltenham Festival but they just went a little bit too quick for him.

“We didn’t come here with massive expectations as we thought the ground had gone against him but according to Wayne [Hutchinson, jockey] he loved the ground.

“I’ve got to convince my wife and my daughter but we have to think about the National really, the way he was finishing there. We had a family debate about whether we were even going to run him here today because you never know how they will take to these fences – it’s a completely different proposition. He’s done us proud – I feel like he’s won!”

Last Time D'Albain
© Caroline Norris

Last Time D'Albain
Irish trainer Liam Cusack, who saddled the third-placed Last Time D’Albain, said: “We’re delighted – this is a special race and he jumped great. He looked to be running a good race round the turn but he just got a bit tired coming to the line. You don’t know how they’ll take to the fences but he has a big heart. Hopefully we’ll be back for another try – we might even come for the big one next year.”

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