Ceebee looks ahead to the Topham Handicap Chase and he has a bet on Call It Magic at 16/1.
Aintree Friday 5th April
Topham Handicap Chase
I’ve had one pencilled in for this since December. He hasn’t been completely missed in the market, 5th in the betting, but at 20/1 (and even 16/1 in places) Call It Magic is worth backing now. At 12/1 the field I like getting involved early.
Ross O’Sullivan’s gelding jumped impressively and loved the Aintree fences when 4th in the Becher back in December. He was too fast and free that day and simply didn’t get home over 3m2f. Ridden from the front this 2m5f trip will suit much better. His last two wins came at 2m7f and 2m6f.
Those two wins in late 2017 came off 124 & 132 so his current mark of 135 isn’t too bad. He was a decent 7th in the Irish National last April off 130 and 4th in the Becher off 135.
Call it Magic prepped for this with a decent 2nd at Fairyhouse in February. After 2mts off and as a prep he will have needed the run. He also jumped markedly left that day so a return to Aintree will suit far more than Fairyhouse did.
Excels over the fences, relatively well handicapped, trained specifically for the race, trip and track to suit – ticks all the boxes. Ruby might even ride for his sister’s husband.
Janika has gone up over a stone for his three 2nd place efforts since arriving from France. A handicap as top weight off 162 is a big ask – might connections look at the G1 Melling or Bowl instead? I would. Beware the Bear got a fair hike (9lbs) for what may have been a weak enough Ultima.
Theatre Territory 3rd last year has been well below her best the last twice. Ultragold is a dual winner but I believe connections are going for the National instead; he showed very little at Cheltenham. Warriors Tale won the Grand Sefton around Aintree but he too has shown very little on his last two starts – when he would’ve been trying.
Tiquer 4th in the Grand Sefton and kept for this (I’m guessing) is certainly interesting but off 130 may be well out of the handicap if Janika runs. Shanahan’s Turn was 2nd in this last year but has been woeful this season. Kilcrea Vale has loads of National Fences form but is winless in 13 starts dating back 2yrs.
Flying Angel ran well at Cheltenham and may prefer this shorter trip but has been disappointing for a long time now. Doitforthevillage is handicapped to the hilt, so too is Cadmium, and Highland Lodge is too old now.
Ballyhill 25/1 and Adrien Du Pont 16/1 are two I’ll be keeping on the shortlist having chased home smart sorts last time. Both decent handicappers, in-form who’ll appreciate this drop in trip. Rathlin Rose 50/1 may be worth a second look also. Team Skelton had a great Cheltenham and may have Born Survivor lined up for this. His Wetherby win worked out very well and decent horses beat him at Cheltenham in January. He races prominently and this tip on good ground should suit.
There’ll be loads of extra places and plenty of fancy prices on the day but get in a good position by taking 20/1 and even 16/1 if you must about one of the likely single figure favourites.
2pt e/w Call It Magic at 16/1 with William Hill and Bet365