John Smith's Top Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 110y

  • (4yo+, 2m 110y, Class 1, 13 runners)
  • Winner £31,356 2nd £11,764 3rd £5,890 4th £2,937 5th £1,474 6th £737
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 59.60s
  • Off time: 14:00:45

Full Result

14:00 Aintree
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 9 Topolski (IRE) D W P Arbuthnot 5 11-4 D A Jacob 11/2
SP 11/2 Held up behind and keen, headway before 2 out, ridden after last, led final 100 yards, held on well towards finish opened 5/1
2nd ¾ 14 Oilily (IRE) S Byrne 8 10-11 A D Leigh 14/1
SP 14/1 Held up mid-division and keen, mistake 4 out, soon lost place on outer, good headway to lead before 2 out, ridden and headed final 100 yards, kept on, no extra towards finish opened 12/1
3rd 6 8 Sire De Grugy (FR) G L Moore 5 11-4 J E Moore 9/2f
SP 9/2f Held up mid-division and keen, headway before 3 out, every chance before 2 out, kept on from last, no impression on leading pair
4th 7 1 Alarazi (IRE) Mrs L Wadham 7 11-4 D Elsworth 7/1
SP 7/1 Held up towards rear on inner, took keen hold, headway before 2 out, ridden before last, one pace opened 8/1
5th 2 3 Desert Cry (IRE) D McCain Jnr 5 11-4 J M Maguire 7/1
SP 7/1 Mid-division and keen, chased leaders before 3 out, ridden before 2 out, no extra from last opened 8/1
6th nse 7 Perfect Smile (IRE) N Meade 6 11-4 P Carberry 8/1
SP 8/1 Held up behind, headway before 3 out, ridden and no impression from next
7th 3 13 Polisky (FR) P F Nicholls 4 10-12 Nick Scholfield 40/1
SP 40/1 Tracked leaders, ridden and weakened before last
8th 6 Maggio (FR) P Griffin 6 11-4 p A Tinkler 80/1
SP 80/1 Led and soon clear until after 5th, headed before 2 out, soon weakened opened 66/1
9th ½ 10 Brampour (IRE) P F Nicholls 4 10-12 R Walsh 7/1
SP 7/1 Tracked leaders, chased leader 2nd, hit 4th, not fluent next, every chance 3 out, weakened last opened 8/1
10th 4 15 A Media Luz (FR) N J Henderson 4 10-5 B J Geraghty 8/1
SP 8/1 Held up towards rear and keen on outer, headway before 3 out, weakened before last opened 15/2
11th 1 2 Andhaar S Gollings 5 11-4 R Flint 50/1
SP 50/1 Held up towards rear and keen, headway before 4 out, weakened before 2 out
12th 10 12 First In The Queue (IRE) N J Henderson 4 10-12 A P McCoy 18/1
SP 18/1 Tracked leader to 2nd, remained prominent, weakened quickly before 2 out opened 16/1
PU 4 Iolith (GER) A King 6 11-4 R Thornton 33/1
SP 33/1 Held up in touch, pushed along 4 out, soon lost place, tailed off and pulled up before 2 out opened 25/1
NR 5 Little Hercules (IRE) J Howard Johnson 5 11-4 B Hughes
NR 11 Empire Levant (USA) P F Nicholls 4 10-12 Harry Skelton

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £5.90 Tote Place £2.40,£3.80,£2.20 Straight Forecast £73.10 Exacta £91.80 Trifecta £220.50 Swingers 1&2:£14.70 2&3:£12.10 1&3:£3.00

Jackpot £24,218.66 carried forward to Aintree, 9th Apr
Placepot £250.10, Pool: £442544.0, 1291.43 winning tickets
Quadpot £36.50, Pool: £25851.0, 523.76 winning tickets


A really taking performance from TOPOLSKI. He wasn't the most fluent at his hurdles, but he didn't lose much ground or momentum, and ran out a deserving winner. He was held up last in the early stages, and was probably helped by Maggio setting a strong tempo. Daryl Jacob had to be patient, with a wall of horses still in front of him turning for home, however he manoeuvred a gap at the second-last. As the wheat was sorted from the chaff, and the field thinned out, he got a nice run on the far side, although he still had three lengths to find on Oilily who had got first run. However he ate up the ground approaching the last, and although not fluent, he always looked like mastering the mare in the final 100 yards. His trainer spoke afterwards of him having the potential to become a Champion Hurdle horse, and whilst that looks a bit fanciful at this stage, this talented flat horse certainly has potential for more improvement. He's not the biggest, so physical development is unlikely, however if his jumping becomes slicker then he'll be a force wherever he goes next. The runner-up ran a cracker. She may have been the oldest in the field, but she shrugged that aside and travelled extremely well towards the outside of the field. She was committed for home fairly early, which in hindsight may have hampered her chance as she wandered around in front, but this was still a career-best. Third home was Sire De Grugy, another who was covered up in midfield for a long way. He's a big long-striding horse and was just out-speeded late on. Had the ground been softer he would have gone awfully close to winning, and looks sure to make up into a lovely chaser next year. Alarazi, the Imperial Cup winner, finished fourth. He didn't settle quite as well as the winner, but he held every chance turning in before being left behind. To his credit he tried to rally, but just seemed to be finding things happening too quickly on this ground. Desert Cry was quite keen but shaped nicely in fifth, with Perfect Smile just a nose back. He didn't find quite as much as expected when let down and may just be a tad shy of this class. Brampour was disappointing, having been ridden closer to the pace than previously, whilst A Media Luz was a big disappointment. She didn't appear to be as keen as at Cheltenham, but was probably outdone by travelling on the outside with little cover; she remains a talented horse and her day will come.