Successful in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham 2019, Paul Nicholls made the decision to give Topofthegame a year off after a minor tendon injury with the words: ''He'll come back even better than before.''
Only time will tell if his statement holds true - but there's growing ambition he can win the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2021. One thing's for sure, punters are eagerly awaiting the return of this son of Flemensfirth who is earmarked for Haydock's Betfair Chase (21st November). It's a time of much excitement and a long-await return.
This eight-year-old chestnut gelding has raced just eleven times. After winning in style at Belclare, Ireland, Topofthegame has won three under rules races. Generally, a consistent horse who has, at times, been second best by narrow margins. However, his last six races have seen brilliant performances including his noted success over Santini in the RSA, when prevailing by a dogged half length to bag a first prize a little shy of £100,000. This gelding has relished the step up in distance and a live contender for the Gold Cup. In fact, he's been backed from 20/1 – 14/1 with Paddy Power. He could well meet his old rival Santini, who is presently second favourite for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup 2021, which takes place on the 19th March (3:30) at Prestbury Park.
Looking at future entries, we can see the Chris Giles and Mr & Mrs P K Barber owned gelding has a couple of future engagements this month including the Haydock Betfair Chase (21st November) and priced 20/1.
However, it seems the Newbury Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (3m 2f) could be the race punters fancy they can win. In fact, if he takes this Grade 3 race it will be after an absence of 603 days.
Whichever race is on the cards, the return of Topofthegame will be one of great interest and hope for the Gold Cup 2021.
Jason Coote is the founder of many websites and known gambler in Great Britain.