GO CONQUER TO MASTER THE GRAND NATIONAL FENCES IN TOPHAM CHASE
Owners Paul and Clare Rooney have a great chance of landing the Randox Health Grand National with last year’s runner-up The Last Samuri who will shoulder top weight of 11st 10lb in the world’s most famous steeplechase at 5.15pm on Saturday. The duo can get a taste of what it is like to lead in the winner of a major race over those famous fences by taking Friday’s Topham Chase with the aptly named Go Conquer.
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The Jonjo O’Neill-trained gelding is open to plenty of improvement over the bigger obstacles having just the eight chase starts to his name, the only victory coming in a two and a half mile handicap chase at Wincanton 12 months ago. Since then, however, the son of Arcadio has raced with much credit on a number of occasions, including when going down by just a neck to the talented Present Man at Ascot back in November.
On his most recent start the eight-year-old ran a cracker to finish fifth in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham festival, only giving best after jumping the last over a trip of 3m 1f and probably farther than is ideal.
The drop back to 2m 5f for the Grade 3 contest at Aintree on Friday afternoon should suit Go Conquer down to the ground and providing he takes to the unique fences must take the world of beating off a featherweight.
The race is likely to attract a maximum field of 30 so it will not be easy for the likely mount of Aidan Coleman with the biggest dangers possibly coming in the shape of the Paul Nicholls-trained pair of As De Mee and Bouvreuil. The former already has winning form over the fences having won the Grand Sefton Chase last December but will be racing off a 7lb higher mark on this occasion.
Stablemate Bouvreuil has some excellent handicap form to his name when at the top of his game and showed every sign that he was peaking at just the right time with a third place finish behind Road To Respect at the Cheltenham festival last month.
Recommended Bet – 2 points each-way Go Conquer 10-1 generally including bet365, Skybet and Betway.