20 Feb 2019 - NEWSCHELTENHAM FESTIVAL: IN-PLAY DRAMA
Topofthegame to head straight to RSA Novices' Chase
Posted in: Cheltenham Festival News
The Paul Nicholls-trained Topofthegame has found just one too strong on both of his two starts over fences this season, the most recent of which came at Kempton in the (Grade 1) Kauto Star Novices' Chase on Boxing Day - and will bid to make it third time lucky this campaign in the three-mile prize on March 13.
What a horse she is!
LA BAGUE AU ROI remains unbeaten over fences with a brilliant victory in the (Grade 1) Kauto Star Novices' Chase at @kemptonparkrace for Warren Greatrex and @dickyjohnson77!
— Timeform Live (@TimeformLive) December 26, 2018
Nicholls said: "Topofthegame will go straight to the RSA. His form is red hot now. He finished second to Defi Du Seuil giving him the best part of 30 lengths at Exeter. Harry (Cobden) said he half-committed soon enough at Kempton and he fell apart.
"He is a smart horse and he will go straight there. I will keep him fresh and well and give him a couple of gallops and he will be fine. I think he does want to be fresh and he is a big, rangy horse that doesn't want a hard race beforehand.
"I wasn't ready last weekend and if I go for the Reynoldstown, again that is getting close enough to Cheltenham. I would say he would have a good chance in the RSA."
Stablemate and leading Arkle contender Dynamite Dollars will also head straight to Prestbury Park, with Nicholls deciding against giving the Grade One winner an outing in the Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick on Saturday.
He said: "As he ran at Doncaster he will go straight to the Arkle. I kept thinking about running him again and the owner was keen to go on Saturday to Warwick, but there is not much point. We know he is jumps and is fit.
"I can get him fitter than he was at Doncaster so there is no rush to go anywhere really."
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Published at 16:50 05/02/2019
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