Top Ville Ben Heads to Wetherby for Cheltenham Compensation
When Wetherby scheduled their novice chase for the card on Tuesday, just a week after the Cheltenham Festival, they probably didn’t expect Cheltenham runners turning up. However, that is exactly what has happened, with Top Ville Ben coming for a morale booster and to gain compensation for his fall at the festival last week.
The Philip Kirby trained seven year old fell in the RSA Chase just a few fences in and never really got the chance to show what he was capable of doing on the day. The plan is for this horse to go to Aintree and go back up in quality there, but Kirby saw this opportunity and thought it was a good way to restore some confidence and get a little more experience into his runner before he goes to Aintree.
Before stepping up in class at Ascot, we saw Top Ville Ben win his first two chasing starts. One of those was at this track, over this distance and he came away from the field to win by 46 lengths on that occasion, so he clearly has a liking for the West Yorkshire track. This race represents a big drop in grade for him, and an ideal opportunity to get in the winners enclosure once again.
Louis’ Vac Pouch is the main danger here and Henry Oliver’s horse comes here with a perfect two from two record. However, the races he has been winning have been poor, and there is no way he would be in the same class as the horses that Top Ville Ben has ran against in his last two runs. Sam’s Gunner is a young horse and gets weight off the front two in the betting, but he is going to have to come on a lot for his first run over fences at Ayr, where he was well behind the winner.
This looks to be a nice opportunity for Top Ville Ben, and a good spot by his trainer Philip Kriby. He can win this before going onto better company once again at Aintree next month.