Ultragold leads Colin Tizzard one-two in Topham Chase

Fri 13 Apr 2018

Watch a full replay of the Randox Health Topham Chase won for the second year in succession by Ultragold.

Ultragold claimed back-to-back victories in the Randox Health Topham Chase at Aintree.

Colin Tizzard's charge caused a 50-1 upset when scoring 12 months ago and filled the runner-up spot over the famous fences in the Grand Sefton Chase in December.

He failed to get competitive on his two most recent appearances at Cheltenham, but the 14-1 chance appeared reinvigorated by the return to the Grand National course, jumping boldly in front throughout in the hands of Harry Cobden.

The well-fancied Theatre Territory loomed up ominously before the home turn and Shanahan's Turn threw down a strong challenge after the final fence, but Ultragold comfortably saw them both off, passing the post with three and three-quarter lengths in hand.

A jubilant Cobden said: "I can't really believe he's done it again, but you can't ask for a better partner over these fences than this fella. He's eyes up every fence and he rides me.

"The ground didn't feel too soft on this lad, to be honest. He's such a lovely horse, he does everything you ask and he's a pleasure to ride."

Tizzard said after his one-two: "He comes alive when he goes around these fences. It was brilliant.

"When the loose horse had a go at taking Ultragold out, at least I knew we had the one just behind anyway as a second string.

"It's lovely when that happens (having the first two). It was a lovely run by Shanahan's Turn. Robbie (Power) fancied his chances coming up to the elbow. Fantastic.

"We were looking at the racecard to see how old Ultragold was. It's three times he's been here - two wins and a second now.

"There is that National factor. He doesn't do it at Cheltenham or anywhere like that. It's the National fences. They still have an effect like they used to. It's a big factor, he loves it.

"We talked about going for the National this year, but we thought he doesn't really stay that far."

Jester Jet dug deep to claim top honours in the Alder Hey Children's Charity Handicap Hurdle.

Tom Lacey's mare lined up on Merseyside on the back of a good effort to finish second in a Listed contest at Warwick in February, and was a 20-1 shot for this fiercely competitive handicap in the hands of Robert Dunne.

The eight-year-old raced in midfield for much of the way, but began to make inroads on the leaders rounding the home turn and challenged for the lead jumping the second flight from the finish.

Runner-up Eaton Hill and the Alan King-trained pair of 13-2 favourite Who Dares Wins and Wilde Blue Yonder all came home strongly, but Jester Jet did enough to keep them at bay.

Dunne said: "She's improved no end since Tom got her. I was confident she'd run a big race, even though she was a big price.

"She ran a nice race the last day and had improved again.

"We went a good pace, which helped, and I committed going to the second-last because I knew she'd stay."

Lacey said: "That was a super performance, I was a bit nervous bringing her here when the ground got really soft.

"She was in the three-miler, too, but on this ground we went for the shorter trip.

"She's such a strong traveller and everything worked out. The owner bred her as well so it's a special day."

He went on: "It's my first winner at Aintree. We've had an incredible season, everything has just clicked. It's been an amazing run of form.

"This mare is pretty straightforward. She's lovely, just a joy. If they were just all as easy as her.

"We'll have to have a think now. There are lots of options. We decided not to go to Cheltenham, but then I was kicking myself when Alan King's horse Midnight Tour, whom she beat at Warwick, ran so well there.

"I might not have brought her and waited for a handicap at Ayr.

"It's the second biggest festival of the National Hunt calendar. It's definitely my biggest winner."

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