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Grand National Festival: Cocktails At Dawn the Topham value

| 08.04.2016

David Metcalf | April 6, 2016

Cocktails looks tasty in Topham Chase

Trainer Nicky Henderson has a tremendous record in the Crabbie’s Topham Chase, and his Cocktails At Dawn looks decent each-way value in this year’s renewal of the 2m 5f contest on day two of the Grand National Festival at Aintree (16:05).

The Seven Barrows handler has won the race five times, including each of the last three runnings.

In Cocktails At Dawn, Henderson has a classy eight-year-old who has won two of his seven starts over fences and jumps for fun.

This gelding likes to bowl along at the head of affairs, and was very impressive on his seasonal reappearance at Chepstow when making all to easily beat As De Mee by three lengths.

Chepstow form makes for solid reading

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Although then not at his best next time up when just 14th of 20 in a valuable contest at Cheltenham, Cocktails At Dawn has since been given a break and saved for this.

His win at Chepstow shows that he goes well fresh, and the form of that race has worked out very well.

The third home, Native River, has gone on to finish an excellent second in the 4m National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and the fourth home Blaklion landed the Grade 1 RSA Chase at the four-day Prestbury Park spectacular.

It suggests that a mark of 153 should not be beyond Cocktails At Dawn and, if taking to the unique National fences and getting into a nice rhythm, he looks sure to place.

Eastlake weighted to go well


There are plenty of dangers in a wide-open and competitive contest, so the well-treated Eastlake looks a big player on the pick of his form.

Trained by Jonjo O’Neill, the has not won since scoring at Cheltenham back in Decmeber 2013, but has run some solid races in defeat.

They include a fine third in the 2014 running of this contest off a mark of 146 and a solid second of 20 to Next Sensation in the Grand Annual Chase at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival off 145.

Eastlake is now able to race off a reduced rating of 142, and that gives the JP McManus owned 10-year-old major claims at the weights.


For more Grand National Festival race tips and previews, visit our Aintree page.

Coral’s top tip: Cocktails At Dawn has been laid out for the race and looks well worth an each-way wager. Eastlake is weighted to run a big race on the pick of his form.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.