Randox Health Becher Hanidcap Chase Odds and Preview – Horse Racing Betting December 9

Westerner could make a Point in Becher Chase

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Horse Racing Betting

There are two races scheduled over the iconic Grand National fences at Aintree this Saturday.

The Grand Sefton, run over just over a circuit of the famous course, will provide¬†its own spectacle but it’s preceded by the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase and this Grade 3 handicap generally attracts more interest given it’s become a viable Grand National trial having been won the past by Amberleigh House and Silver Birch, who both went on to glory in the big race itself. Earth Summit actually won the Becher Chase under 12st in 1998, eight months after his triumph in that year’s Grand National and this year’s top weight – The Last Samuri – only found one too good in Aintree’s big race in 2016 and was third in this race 12 months ago.

Becher Chase History and Trends

The Becher Chase is open to horses aged five years or older. Contested at Aintree over a distance just short of 3m2f and over 21 obstacles, it includes all the famous Aintree fences like Becher’s Brook, The Chair, Valentines and Canal Turn and is a true test of staying power and jumping ability. It achieved Grade 3 status in 2014 and is enjoying its Silver Jubilee (25 years) this year.
None of the last seven winners have carried more than 10st 12lb to victory and that appears the most significant recent statistic, though Oscar Time in 2014 benefited from his rider’s 3lb claim. There have been only three winners younger than eight in its history, but one of those was last year. Hello Bud was the oldest winner at 14 in 2012 and he was one of two Nigel Twiston-Davies winners in the last seven years. Irish trainer Dessie Hughes had the winner in both 2008 and 2009 while Paul Nicholls has trained the winner three times since 2004.
The betting is usually wide open for the Becher Chase and it’s not been a great race for fancied horses with most recent winners starting at double-figure odds, though Vieux Lion Rouge bucked several trends 12 months ago when starting favourite and is back for more. Highland Lodge, the winner in 2015 and second last year, is also among a 16-strong field which means, if all stand their ground, each-way punters can collect if their selection finishes in the first four.

Chasers proven over the National fences dominate the betting with Blaklion attracting particularly strong support in the ante-post market. He was favourite when fourth in the Grand National in April and ran a cracker when second to Bristol De Mai in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby on his reappearance. He’s beaten¬†Vieux Lion Rouge (a general 8/1) in his last two starts having just come off worst against David Pipe’s stayer in the Grand National Trial at Haydock back in February when conceding 6lb. Betfred’s 11/4 is very short in a race like this but he is the class act.

The Last Samuri is widely available at 8/1 and Highland Lodge is 10/1 in a race in which he thrives. As Du Mee is available at the same odds and he won last year’s Grand Sefton. A win over 3m2f at Kelso in October proved his stamina but he was last of four next time at Sandown.

The forecast heavy going will suit WESTERNER POINT admirably. Eoghan O’Grady’s raider is a stand-out 20/1 with betway and worth a small wager. Of course, nobody knows if he will take to the Aintree fences or stay the longer distance but he went close over 3m over hurdles last time and his trainer has been shrewdly protecting his handicap mark over fences.

Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase Current Best Odds

Blaklion 11/4, The Last Samuri  and Vieux Lion Rouge 8/1, As Du Me  and Highland Lodge 10/1, Viva Steve 16/1,  Rogue Angel 18/1, Goodtoknow, Westerner Point, The Young Master and Federici 20/1, Vic De Touzaine, Sizing Codelco and Portrait King 25/1,  Lord Windermere and Straidnahanna 33/1