With just under two weeks to go until one of the biggest National Hunt festivals in the country, all eyes are on the potential runners for the 2014 Crabbies Grand National but with so many other fantastic races on the cards, another 70 hopefuls have been entered into the Crabbies Topham Chase.
Run over an extended two miles and five furlongs, taking in 17 of the famous Grand National fences, the Crabbies Topham Chase is run on Ladies Day, Friday, April 4 and the field is headed by Rajdhani Express, who finished third in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
He is joined at the top of the entries list by Champion Court and Hunt Ball who, incidentally, also holds an entry for the Grand National and is a general 66/1 for the event.
Also included on the list is Planet of Sound from Philip Hobbs as well as Kauto Stone who was recently withdrawn from the Grand National following a run in the recent Ryanair Chase where he finished in 9th place.
Both Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson hold six entries each and with the gap at the top of the Trainers Championship getting closer, a win for either could really boost their chances of getting the title this year.
On the betting markets, bookmakers have been quick to offer ante-post odds with Paddy Power installing six as joint ante-post favourites – Hunt Ball, Rajdahni Express, Double Ross, Lost Legend, Ma Filleule and Spring Healed – who are all on 12/1.
11 of the remaining 72 potential 2014 Grand National runners have also been given an entry so we will have to wait until the five-day and final declaration stages to determine which horse will ultimately run in which race.