Topofthegame compared with Denman by Paul Nicholls after winning the RSA Chase at Cheltenham
- Topofthegame won a thrilling tussle to beat Santini in the RSA Chase
- The giant chestnut won by half a length at 4-1 in Tuesday’s second race
- Topofthegame is the first winner of this year’s Festival for Paul Nicholls
Trainer Paul Nicholls drew favourable comparisons with his 2008 Gold Cup winner Denman as Topofthegame landed the RSA Chase under an ultra-cool ride from Harry Cobden.
Like Denman, Topofthegame, who was winning his first chase, carries the green and white colours of Nicholls’ landlord Paul Barber, who owns him in partnership with Chris Giles.
Denman also won the 2007 RSA Chase and Nicholls is confident that in Topofthegame, a giant at 18 hands, he has a gelding who can make the same step.
Topofthegame won the RSA Chase at Cheltenham on Tuesday by half a length from Santini
Topofthegame finished half a length ahead of runner-up Santini in the second race of the day
Nicholls said: ‘He is very similar to Denman and he probably has more boot than him. Denman was an out-and-out slogger. This fella has a touch of class and is very exciting.
‘I have always believed he will be a Gold Cup horse. We will train him as one next season.’
As the RSA Chase built to a crescendo, both runner-up Santini and third-placed favourite Delta Wave loomed but Cobden, 20, in his first season as Nicholls’ stable jockey, unleashed his mount at the last to win by a cosy half-length.
Jockey Harry Cobden praised his horse after the race: ‘He’s improving all the time’
Cobden and Co celebrate after Topofthegame, who started the race at 4/1, won the RSA Chase