You won't find a more competitive race all festival than this one! With only 1 horse at single figure odds (9/1) and the second favourite at 12/1 it's as competitive according to the prices as it seems on paper!
Stats can help us narrow the field down.
Only one horse has carried more than 11st since the turn of the century. That is quite a strong statistic and one I used when coming to my selection. An improving horse is always a good start when you look to find one in these big festival handicaps however a victory during the season isn't a necessity. This race often goes down to those that are prominent and good jumpers not necessarily the obviously well handicapped horses.
There's no panic looks to have a very good chance. Improving horse who is the choice of Ruby Walsh, who has chosen him over some other strong looking Nicholls runners. He jumps well and the return to better ground looks sure to help him. I'm not quite sure he will have the experience to win a race like this but looks a player.
The Irish look to have two strong contenders in Last time D'Ablain and Jamsie Hall. They both look reasonably well handicapped but their lack of a recent run puts me off.
A busy campaign is a plus and helps me form my opinion of the type of horse I'm looking for. An experienced animal who is carrying less than 11stone.
There is one who fits the mould perfectly, Tartak. He is the selection. He has the reputation of being and old timer who has lost his way but his third in the Byrne Group Plate at Cheltenham shows he has retained lots of ability. Somehow, I am very confused to how, he runs off 4lbs lower than he did there. He ran in this race last year and whilst he wasn't very competitive he came home in 15th place. What I like is that he clearly had no problem with these quirky fences and got round safely. He was running that day off a mark of 153. He is running tomorrow of 130. Yes 130. I have no idea how a horse can come down 23 on official ratings in less than a year, let alone one who has placed at Cheltenham festival in the mean time!
Tartak is a confident selection but obviously with so many runners and the nature of the race, will need some luck in running!
Bennys Mist is a big danger if taking to the fences. Good luck.
Topham Chase Betting Tip
TARTAK to win at 14/1 with Betfred
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