Tag Archive for: Mac Tottie

Mac Tottie and Bowen family rule supreme in Topham

Mac Tottie gave the Bowen family a win to treasure over the Grand National fences when coming home clear in the Randox Topham Handicap Chase.

Successful in the Grand Sefton over the famous obstacles in November, he was back to to the exact same handicap mark and arrived travelling smoothly for Sean Bowen as the leaders crossed the Melling Road.

Trainer Peter Bowen was winning the race for the fifth time, having triumphed with Dunbrody Millar (2007) and Always Waining for three successive years from 2010-2012, but it was a first success for his son.

Sent off an 8-1 chance, Mac Tottie had a host of Irish raiders for company after long-time leader Janika had cried enough jumping the last.

Ted Walsh’s Batcio and Willie Mullins’ Annamix were still in there with a chance on the run-in, but Mac Tottie ran right through the line to win by four and a quarter lengths from Batcio. Bowen also saddled the fourth, Francky Du Berlais.

“I have to say, when dad wants to get one ready he really does the job. This is the fifth time he’s won it,” said the emotional winning rider.

“James (Bowen, brother) schooled him the other day and he was beaming, he was so pleased. I’m so lucky that I got on him. It’s unbelievable. I can’t talk.

“To do it for your family is just different. Riding for your family, you can’t put into words how much different it is, doing it for your mum and dad is just different.

“I nearly got brought down at the first, but he soon got into a rhythm and really came alive after the Canal Turn. He was running away, and has gone on to win really well.”

Bowen senior said: “He loves those fences and loves that ground, so everything was just right for him.

“This has been the plan since the Grand Sefton really. He went off the boil a bit after he had that fall in the Becher, but he came back spot-on for today.

“I don’t know what it is about this place, but I love it anyway. That’s our fifth Topham and we could do with a National now!

“We loose school our horses at home and I think that helps them and makes them more accurate at their fences. This horse had a loose school session two days ago and was brilliant.”

Asked whether Mac Tottie could be a future Grand National contender, the trainer added: “If he gets the trip, that would be the question.

“We’ll have a look at what happens next year, maybe he’ll have a go at it.

“There’s no reason why he wouldn’t stay – he’s bred to. Fingers crossed.”

Walsh – who will saddle leading fancy Any Second Now in the National – said of Batcio: “He’s run great, right up to his mark and maybe above it.”

Annamix was ridden by Danny Mullins, who said: “He really took to the fences and they brought back that spark that was possibly missing in him earlier in the season.

“He enjoyed it, and I hope it might rejuvenate him as well as opening up some other options.”

Mac primed for latest assault on National fences

Mac Tottie will aim for a unique double in the Unibet Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree on Saturday.

Only a handful of races are run over the Grand National fences each season, with three of those at the big meeting in April – meaning options were limited.

That was certainly the case when the Grand Sefton and Becher Chase were held on the same afternoon, as they had been up until this year, but running the Grand Sefton and Aintree’s November meeting means horses can now run in both.

Peter Bowen, who trained Always Waining to win three Topham Chases over the National fences, expects Mac Tottie to be even more suited by the extra distance in the Becher than when he won the Grand Sefton.

He said: “It probably will be harder task and he’s got 7lb more to carry so it will be harder, but I think the trip will suit and he’ll be even better going a bit further. Fingers crossed he should go well.

“We’ve not had many that don’t take to the fences, most of the ones we have run tend to take to them and it’s been a very lucky place for us. He took to them straight away, we didn’t think it would be an issue and it wasn’t.

Always Waining was a star for Peter Bowen over the National fences
Always Waining was a star for Peter Bowen over the National fences (Gareth Copley/PA)

“The top-weight (Chris’s Dream) staying in has helped, he’s on 10st 6lb so we’re happy, he schooled brilliant yesterday morning and worked well the day before.

“It all depends if he can cope with his handicap mark (142) and handle the step up in trip, I think he will.

“I’m looking forward to it, he’s so fit and well and everything has gone well for him since his last run.”

He added: “Always Waining is still at home, he seems great in himself and you wouldn’t think he was more than a four- or five-year-old.”

Mac Tottie enters National frame with Grand Sefton victory

Mac Tottie sparked dreams of a tilt at Grand National glory after enhancing trainer Peter Bowen’s excellent record over the famous fences in the Betway Grand Sefton Handicap Chase at Aintree.

The Welsh trainer has saddled four winners of the Topham Chase at the National meeting, with Dunbrody Millar’s 2007 triumph followed by the popular Always Waining’s hat-trick between 2010 and 2012.

Bowen also came close to winning the big one in 2007, with Mckelvey beaten three-quarters of a length by Silver Birch – and in Mac Tottie, he believes he has another contender for the Aintree spectacular.

A well-beaten last of four on his seasonal reappearance at Fontwell early last month, the eight-year-old appeared invigorated by the switch to the National fences, jumping well throughout for the trainer’s son James.

The well-fancied Senior Citizen loomed up looking a big danger on the run-in, but 20-1 shot Mac Tottie dug deep to see him off by a length – with Manwell a further 12 lengths behind in third.

“That was good. It’s the fifth time we’ve won round those fences – it’s been a lucky place for us,” said the winning trainer.

“I have no idea why they seem to take to it. We do a lot of loose schooling, and they seem to find their own way from there.”

Bowen added: “We just missed out in the National with Mckelvey, and hopefully this will end up being a National horse – I think he’ll stay.

“He came here in good form. Things didn’t go quite right for him last time, because he lost a shoe and didn’t really stride out after that.

“He could come back here for the Becher next month, but we’ll see how he is and speak to the owners.”

The winner rider was thrilled to claim his first victory over the National fences, adding his name to the roll of honour in a race his brother Sean has won twice for champion trainer Paul Nicholls.

“It’s unbelievable. To do it for my dad makes it extra special,” he said.

“I didn’t miss one fence. He’s only small, but he’s so neat and has got loads of scope.

“I got to the front way too soon, but the loose horse helped me out for a little while, and he probably kept a little bit up his sleeve.

“I’d ride any of dads’ horses over a National fence. It’s nice to come here and have the confidence in them to go and jump.”