Becher Chase Betting Tips
Aintree Racecourse is known the world over as the host of the Grand National. There is no other race that matches the history or legend of the Grand National but in terms of the elements of the race itself, the Becher Chase comes pretty close.
Often used by trainers to assess their horses’ chances in the National, the Becher Chase is run over the same course and uses the same fences. The distance is considerably shorter at 3m2f but make no mistake, this is still a stamina-sapping handicap that challenges horses’ jumping technique and their heart.
Past Five Winners
2016 – Vieux Lion Rouge, aged 7, ridden by Tom Scudamore, trained by David Pipe
2015 – Highland Lodge, aged 9, ridden by Henry Brooke, trained by James Moffatt
2014 – Oscar Time, aged 13, ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen, trained by Robert Waley-Cohen
2013 – Chance du Roy, aged 9, ridden by Tom O’Brien, trained by Philip Hobbs
2012 – Hello Bud, aged 14, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
Look for Value in This Tough Betting Heat
The Grand National is as tough a betting puzzle as you’ll find and the Becher Chase is similarly tough to predict.
Only three of the last 15 favourites went on to win the race while nine of 15 winners had a double-figure starting price. Additionally, just six favourites Becher Chase favourites were good enough for a place.
That will worry connections of Blaklion, the clear favourite for the 2017 edition at a general 3/1. They’ll also be concerned that he is carrying 11-8 when 12 of the last 15 winners carried 10-12 or less.
The last troubling stat for Blaklion backers is that the average age of the last 10 winners is 10 and he’s only eight.
Blaklion did at least fight valiantly for fourth place at last year’s Grand National but the Becher’s Chase is all about sniffing out value and you just can’t make a case for Blaklion representing good value.
Will We See a Repeat Winner?
When it comes to horses capable of winning the Becher Chase, what better place to turn than last year’s winner, Vieux Lion Rouge?
David Pipe’s gelding became the youngest winner of the Becher Chase since 2004 12 months ago and the trainer could not be happier with him as he returns to Aintree.
Vieux Lion Rouge kicked on from his Becher Chase win to claim a Grand National trial win at Haydock and then finished sixth in the big one. Connections believe that he will only improve for that extra experience and we tend to agree.
He’ll face question marks about carrying 11-5 but with his class, reserves of stamina and, crucially, at a price of 11/1 with Ladbrokes, we’re happy to back Vieux Lion Rouge to become the first horse to win the Becher Chase in consecutive years.
Highland Lodge very nearly broke that record last year but the 2015 Becher Chase winner was pipped by a short head. That second place finish was the latest in a string of fine performances from James Moffatt’s horse at Aintree.
The 11-year-old’s only failure to complete a race at the course came when he was pulled up during last year’s Grand National and generally speaking he thrives at Aintree.
Were it not for a loose horse hampering him early on last year, Highland Lodge could very well be bidding for a hat-trick of wins. He arrives fresh and ready for another big win according to Moffatt and we think he’ll go close again of a favourable mark of 10-5.
So, make sure to back Highland Lodge each-way bet at 14/1 with Sportingbet while that price remains.
Top Betting Offers
Vieux Lion Rouge to win at 11/1 with Ladbrokes
Highland Lodge each-way at 14/1 with Sportingbet