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Waley-Cohen bullish as entries unveiled for Randox Health Topham and Foxhunters' Chase

Entries are revealed today for the two other races over the Grand National fences during the Randox Health Grand National Festival - the £45,000 Randox Health Foxhunters' Chase (Grand National Thursday, April 12) and the £140,000 G3 Randox Health Topham Chase (Ladies Day, Friday, April 13). Both contests are staged over two miles and five furlong 

Ultragold (Colin Tizzard), who is part-owned by Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River's owners Brocade Racing, is one of 79 entries (up from 61 in 2017) for the Randox Health Topham Chase as bids to follow up his shock 50/1 success in the race last year. The 10-year-old proved that was no fluke when finishing second in the 188Bet Grand Sefton Handicap Chase over the course and distance in December.

His trainer Colin Tizzard has five entries in total and may also run G2 National Hunt Chase third Sizing Tennessee and Sizing Granite, who was a G1-winning novice over fences at Aintree in 2015. 

Nicky Henderson is the most successful trainer in the history of the Randox Health Topham Chase, with five wins. His three entries are last year's fourth O O Seven, Kilcrea Vale and Days Of Heaven. 

Owner Robert Waley-Cohen, successful with Liberthine (2006) and Rajdhani Express (2015), is hoping to be represented by eight-year-old mare Theatre Territory (Warren Greatrex). 

Theatre Territory has been a model of consistency in five starts so far this season, with her best efforts coming when second to both Ms Parfois and Mister Whitaker in competitive handicap chases at Cheltenham in December and January respectively. 

On her latest start, she ran another game race to finish third behind Master Dee (Fergal O'Brien) in the G3 Betdaq Handicap Chase at Kempton Park on February 24, her first attempt over three miles. 

Waley-Cohen said: "The Randox Health Topham Chase is absolutely the target for Theatre Territory.

"I have been extremely pleased with her campaign so far. She was always likely to be a really good chaser and has run some fantastic races this season. 

"I know Sam is looking forward to riding her at Aintree. She jumps well and I don't see any reason why she should not go there.

"I hope she can emulate one of my other mares Liberthine, who won the Topham in 2006." 

Amateur Sam Waley-Cohen is the most successful current rider over the Grand National fences at Aintree, having enjoyed six victories, including three successes in the Randox Health Fox Hunters' Chase on Katarino (2005 & 2006) and Warne (2014). He has also registered two wins in the Randox Health Topham Chase aboard Liberthine (2006) and Rajdhani Express (2015). The closest he has come to winning the Randox Health Grand National in eight rides was in 2011 when he was runner-up on Oscar Time, owned by his father and trained in Ireland by Martin Lynch. The same horse went on to land the Randox Health Becher Chase over the Grand National course in 2014. 

Willie Mullins accounts for six of the 17 Irish-trained entries for the Randox Health Topham Chase. They include Pairofbrowneyes and Patricks Park who have both captured valuable handicap chases this season. 

Mall Dini (Patrick Kelly IRE), runner-up in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last week, and dual G1 scorer Clarcam (Gordon Elliott IRE) are also entered. 

Weights for Randox Health Topham Chase will be revealed on Wednesday, March 28. 

38 entries for Randox Health Foxhunters' Chase 

Two-time winner On The Fringe (Enda Bolger IRE) is among 38 entries for the £45,000 Randox Health Foxhunters' Chase. 

J P McManus' 13-year-old took the spoils in 2015 and again in 2016 when he produced one of his most impressive displays to win by eight lengths under Jamie Codd.

Burning Ambition (Pierce Power IRE) was strongly fancied for the equivalent race at the Cheltenham Festival last week, but failed to see it the extended three and a quarter mile distance. 

Other interesting contenders include last year's runner-up Balnaslow (Grahame McKeever IRE) and the Paul Nicholls-trained trio of Wonderful Charm, Virak and Unioniste. 

Wonderful Charm, who was pulled up at Cheltenham last week, is part-owned by Robert Waley-Cohen and the owner added: "I would think Wonderful Charm will go for Randox Health Foxhunters' Chase.

"He finished in the Grand National last year, albeit down the field, so we know he acts around there.

"We are just praying for some better ground for him."

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