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  • Aintree Topham Chase Best Bet: Back James Du Berlais To Follow Our / Thursday Winner

Aintree Topham Chase best bet: Back James Du Berlais to follow our 14/1 Thursday winner

After landing a tasty winner on day one of Aintree's Grand National meeting, our resident trends analyst Andrew of Fiosrach casts his eye over another of the most popular handicaps of the week.

Our trends-based tips got off to a flyer on Thursday when Sans Bruit gave Bryony Frost a wonderful ride, making all to romp to an emphatic front-running win in the Red Rum Chase.

Andy Peake's six-year-old was eventually sent off at a decent enough 5/1, but we hope you managed to find the 14/1 odds that had been available of Wednesday evening.

We're hoping for more of the same on day two as we tackle another of the most enjoyable chases on the Aintree Festival card.

16.05 Aintree Randox Supports Race Against Dementia Topham Handicap Chase (2 miles 5 furlongs)

Interrupting the plethora of Grade 1 races, the Topham Chase, contested over the Grand National fences, rarely fails to provide plenty of entertaining thrills (but hopefully not too many spills) along the way.

Planet Sport Bet Special: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Your Darling finishes in the first 4 places, get a £5 Free Bet!

As usual I am using the trends below to narrow down the field to a manageable number for further analysis:

  • 18/20 – Ran within the last 34 days 
  • 18/20 – Aged 10 or younger 
  • 17/20 - Didn’t win their last race 
  • 13/20 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting 
  • 11/20 – Ran within the last 23 days 
  • 12/20 – Carried 10st-7lb or less 
  • 11/20 – Unplaced in last race 
  •   5/20 – Trained by Peter Bowen 
  •   4/20 – Trained by Nicky Henderson 
  •   3/20 – Irish-trained winners
  •   3/20 – Won their last race 
  •   2/20 - Trained by Willie Mullins (2 of last 4) 
  •     5/9 - carried 11st-0lb or more 
  •   7/10 -trained by Henderson, Mullins or Tizzard 
  •    6/9 - rated 141 or higher 
  •    5/9 - raced at the Cheltenham Festival 
  •   8/16-  ran in the previous year’s race 
  • 11/17 - had not won over fences that season 
  • 12/19 - had run over the Grand National style fences
  • 15/30 - had run at least 7 times that season 
  • Only 5 Irish-trained winners since 1979 
  • Only 1 British or Irish-bred winner aged 7 or younger since 1985 
  • Only two winners aged 11+ (118 have tried) since 1994


Using the trends above I have reduced the 25-runner field to four runners for further analysis: James Du Berlais, Classic Getaway, Flegmatik and Life In The Park.

James Du Berlais finished seventh behind Shakem Up’Harry in the Plate at Cheltenham, when he faded from two out and weakened coming up the hill. 

The flat track of Aintree should suit the Willie Mullins-trained eight-yearold better and he has won on heavy going in France. 

James Du Berlais is at his best in a big field where he can get cover and this race looks the perfect type to could see him go close under Paul Townend, who takes over from usual rider Daryl Jacob.

Suggested best bet: James Du Berlais each-way in the 16:40 at Aintree


Classic Getaway is shouldered with top weight and despite handling heavy going it is hard to see him winning this on recent form. 

It is always dangerous to discount a Willie Mullins horse, especially when owned by a top owner and regardless of form and price, although Townend’s decision to ride James Du Berlais could be a signal of where the Master of Closutton believes his best chance lies.

Flegmatik is a lot more exposed than of these and his form suggests that he prefers better ground. He is usually a sound jumper and is consistent, so he may be able to run into a place, although that will depend on his coping with the conditions.

Life In The Park finished a closing fourth in the Plate ahead of James Du Berlais and has run well in a big field (albeit over hurdles) and has also run well on ground with some cut. The Henry De Bromhead stable is going well in the last couple of weeks with a 25% strike rate, while Rachael Blackmore seldom fails to bring the best out of her rides.

Horses that ran in last year’s race have a particularly good record so Bill Baxter, Fantastic Lady and Killer Kane should be noted, but all are either significantly up in the weights or out of sorts.

Of the others I did like the look of Kandoo Kid from Paul Nicholls’ stable based on form and potential, but in this column, I base the selection process on the trends. 

This is an exceedingly difficult race from which to pick a winner and I was tempted to put up two horses, but in the end I am going to stick with one, in the shape of an each way bet on James Du Berlais, with the usual caveat advising to shop around for best odds and extra places.

READ MORE: Friday ITV racing tips: Best Bets for Aintree on April 12

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