Boylesports
Horse Racing

Randox Topham Handicap Chase – Aintree – Friday 12th April

Friday 12th April 16:05

Horse racing expert Will Smith has recommended a 20/1 ante-post bet for the Topham Handicap Chase at Aintree on Friday 12th April.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
James Du Berlais 20/120/1 Topham Chase - Aintree - Fri 12 Apr
EW 4 places 1/4
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 22/03/2024

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (13:37 22/03/2024) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

The Grand National has passed me by a little when it comes to any ante-post plays, and I’d say that for now this may be the case, until extra places and the make up of the final field is more likely known.

When it comes to the final field, this is probably more aptly put as to how many UK based horses will actually get in the reduced 34-runner field, given the domination of 140+ Irish based horses in the entry list.

Willie Mullins is of course responsible for many of these, as he so too is responsible for plenty of entries in the Randox Topham Handicap Chase at Aintree a day earlier on Friday 12th April. Of his 8 entries, there is one horse who I think could be ideally suited to the nature of the race, and reminds me to a fair degree of his two previous recent winners Livelovelaugh and Cadmium.

James Du Berlais is available at 20/1 each-way with Bet365 for 4 places, but also more generally at 16/1 each-way for 5 places. It very much depends on your particular poison as to which you play, but I’ve shared my stake around both options for your reference.

At this stage, the layers have very much taken the strength of Cheltenham Festival form as the main indicator, as the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th from the Plate are all to the fore of early lists, along with the blatant non-staying Ultima 5th The Goffer.

As is predictable, the market has favoured either the winner or a fast-finishing placed horse, given the likes of Shakem Up’Arry, Crebilly and In Excelsis Deo range between 7/1 and 10/1 at their shortest. However, much the most convincing trial for the Topham Chase was run by James Du Berlais in 7th in the Plate

Not for the first time this season, James Du Berlais received a passage through the race that was far from the most efficient. On this occasion, having travelled wider and further back than all 6 horses who finished ahead of him, James Du Berlais made his move running downhill to just about hit the front turning in, and was virtually jumping the last two fences upsides.

For regular readers of these pages, you’ll know that any horse that makes a big move running downhill at Cheltenham, particularly on the New Course, will very rarely be able to get back up it to the finishing line!

Allied to that, James Du Berlais has never run his best races on stiff tracks, and Aintree’s flat terrain will be absolutely perfect for him. In addition, he jumps and travels with a real athleticism and zest that will be tailor-made for Aintree’s Grand National course, and I would love to see him receive a bold, front-running, aggressive ride which also served Willie Mullins’ two previous winners so well.

Mullins has mentioned this race for James Du Berlais on a number of occasions, and I’m hoping that the inefficiency with which he has raced so far this season is down to the Randox Topham Handicap Chase being his primary seasonal target.

20/1 each-way with Bet365 is massive about a horse who has a huge level of ability, and having the leash let off him around Aintree, could be the final piece of the jigsaw that will see his talents realised fully since joining the Munir/Souede/Mullins axis.

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