Please Note: Next Race meeting is Wednesday 9th October

Forbra winner makes good in Aintree’s Topham Trophy

It’s not often that big race winners at Aintree choose their prep run at Ludlow. Let’s face it, the galloping 2m2f circuit of the National fences doesn’t appear to have much in common with the sharp bends of the 6f shorter Ludlow track.

So there were plenty with raised eyebrows when syndicate leader Peter Borg-Neal referred to an entry in the Topham Trophy on the Friday of the Liverpool meeting after winning Ludlow’s feature Forbra Gold Cup at the end of February. Cynics explained these words away as post race excitement when Borg-Neal remarked, The Topham would be a huge day out for us and we’re hoping we’ll get there.”

Those doubters, however, were left eating their words after Arizona Cardinal defied his 20/1 starting price to be in the ruck at the elbow, and to take the £84,195 first prize by a length for trainer Stuart Edmunds and rider Cieran Gethings.

A winner of four of his six starts this season, the 8 year old gelding been a revelation for Stuart Edmunds in the Buckinghamshire trainer’s most prolific season.

“It’s been the plan for a long time to come here and it’s worked,” said Edmunds. “I thought we were beat, but he stays three miles and stayed on very well,” he told the Racing Post.

If his low weight had something to do with this success, take nothing away from his resolution. This was no bloodless victory; prominent throughout, Arizona Cardinal fought his way to within two lengths of the leader at the elbow, and stayed on resolutely to beat the well-fancied Irish contender James du Berlais to deny Mullins and Townend yet more British success.

“It’s definitely one of the most emotional winners I’ve had.  I don’t smile very often do I?” added Edmunds.

I’d say this was something for you and us at Ludlow to smile about, Stuart.

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