The giant Topofthegame (6g Flemensfirth-Derry Vale, by Mister Lord) landed Sandown’s most-valuable contest on Saturday when winning the £100,000 G3 Betfred Heroes Hurdle.
Winning trainer Paul Nicholls predicts that the Flemensfirth gelding will come into his own when going over the larger obstacles next season.
“That was good. Topofthegame is a chaser in the making as you can see, but that’s a proper race to win,” Nicholls told the Racing Post. “I was slightly worried about the ground being as soft as it was, but he kept galloping. And what he does now is irrelevant as he’ll be chasing next season.
“He’s very much the future. He’s bigger than Denman; he’s huge, enormous, but just needs a bit of time. He stays forever and is the sort of horse who might end up in the National.
“He’s very green and hasn’t had many runs; mentally he’s a great big baby, but he’s got a lot of talent. He’ll be a good chaser. I’m not saying he’ll win a Gold Cup, but who knows where he’ll end up.”
Bred by Patrick Kavanagh, Topofthegame was bought for £120,000 at Aintree in April 2016 following his point-to-point success for Donnchadh Doyle.