Past Winners » Ma Filleule


Ma Filleule has more weight than ideal for the Topham – nine of the last 10 winners have carried 10st 11lb or less – but she was noted as a potential horse for the Topham after she finished second to Holywell in the three-mile handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and 14/1 is big enough to allow for her big weight.

She ran a cracker in that race at Cheltenham. Nico de Boinville lost an iron when she made a mistake at the third last fence, but she was quickly back on an even keel and she looked the most likely winner on the run to the last. She was ultimately out-gunned by Holywell on the run-in, but Holywell just loves that hill, as he proved when he won the Pertemps Final last year, and he was obviously a well-handicapped horse who was primed for the day. He was raised 12lb for that win.

Ma Filleule was raised 7lb herself, but that is reasonable. She wasn’t stopping either, she pulled seven lengths clear of The Package. She saw it out well.

Importantly, the Turgeon mare has tons of scope for progression. She is only six and, a French import, that was just her third run in a chase in Britain for Nicky Henderson. As such, she is not wholly dissimilar to last year’s winner Triolo D’Alene, who was also a lightly-raced French six-year-old, who had been readied for the race by Nicky Henderson. They have probably had this race in mind for the mare for a little while.

Barry Geraghty chose to ride Hadrian’s Approach in the Cheltenham race in preference to Ma Filleule, but he is back on board today. Geraghty is a big asset.