The Grand National meeting at Aintree is just around the corner and with the historic event cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the excitement is really starting to build for the four and a quarter mile race, which will take place at 5:15pm on April 10th.
Of course, punters up and down the nation will be examining the form guides and studying the Grand National 2021 odds in the hope that they will pick the winner in the prestigious race. However, there is plenty more to get excited about with lots of races taking place at Aintree across the course of the three-day meeting. That includes day two’s Topham Handicap Chase, and we are going to take a look at the favourites for the Grade 3 race. So, read on to find out more!
Farclas – 6/1
Those who followed the recent Cheltenham Festival will be familiar with Farclas. The seven-year-old, who is being trained by Denise Foster during Gordon Elliott’s ban, was the 5/1 second favourite in the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase on the penultimate day of the Prestbury Park meeting. Despite clipping his heels and stumbling on the home turn, he stayed on well and went second in the final 110 yards, finishing three lengths behind The Shunter. It’s been four races since Farclas last landed a victory. However, Foster and it’s Gigginstown House Stud owners will be hoping that that changes at Aintree.
Livelovelaugh – 8/1
Next in line in the betting is the Willie Mullins-trained Livelovelaugh at 8/1. However, it’s been over 15 races since the 11-year-old last landed a victory for the Irish trainer and renowned owner Rich Ricci. In his last outing, with Paul Townend in the saddle, he came agonisingly close to ending that drought. Livelovelaugh was the 10/3 joint-favourite in the TRI Equestrian Handicap Chase at Leopardstown. However, the joint market leader Mitchouka pipped him over the line by little more than a neck. The 11-year-old’s Grand National outing here in 2019 could help him navigate his way around the track and into contention in the Topham Handicap Chase.
Two For Gold – 10/1
Unlike the two previously mentioned horses, Two For Gold boasts a recent victory. The eight-year-old, trained by Kim Bailey, beat Aso, who competed in this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, by a neck in the Paddy Power Warwick Castle Handicap Chase back in February. However, he finished in third, 10-and-a-half-lengths behind Grand National favourite Cloth Cap in the Premier Chase at Kelso since then. Still, with four wins from nine chases, Two For Gold certainly has the knack for winning and we’re sure the punters will have their eyes on him.
Debece – 12/1
After pulling up in successive races at the backend of last year, Debece changed trainers from Tim Vaughan to Dan Skelton and the latter seems to have gotten the 10-year-old back on track. With Dan’s brother Harry Skelton in the saddle, Debece set off as the 2/1 favourite in the ‘From The Horse’s Mouth’ Podcast Handicap Chase at Sandown last month, and whilst Fortescue went on to win the race, the Skeltons would have probably left Sandown rather happy with a second-place finish in their maiden outing with the horse. The foundations are there to be built on at Aintree, so don’t rule out Debece at 12/1.