The Festive season is fast approaching and that can only mean one thing….The Becher Chase. This Grand National Trial always makes for spectacular viewing with plenty of thrills and spills over the National Fences. 28 horses remain at this stage and if you want to know Dave Stevos’ Becher Chase tip, read his preview below…
1.30 Aintree Saturday: Becher Chase Tip And Preview
This is one of my favourite handicaps of the year. Run over 26f on the Grand National course stamina is needed, but you need to possess serious jumping ability too. With a purse of £150k this race almost always attracts a big field, usually with lots of Grand National hopefuls. The last three winners of the race, Blaklion (2017), Vieux Lion Rouge (2016) and 12yo Highland Lodge (2015), all line up again. On better ground than last year, I think the old boy can master his younger rivals.
It is a real pity that Jimmy Moffatt’s son of Flemensfirth doesn’t stay further than Saturday’s trip of 26f. If he did, he would surely have won a Grand National by now. I have never seen a horse attack the fearsome fences at Aintree as well as Highland Lodge does. He has been 3rd, 2nd and 1st in the last three renewals and this is his target every year.
He was beaten 14L on bottomless ground in last season’s race off a mark of 138. In 2017 on good to soft he went down by a short head to Vieux Lion Rouge off 137. He won the race off a mark of 132 back in 2015 on soft. Jimmy Moffatt’s charge looks set encounter similar ground on Saturday as he did in 2015 and 2016. Highland Lodge is 6lb better off with Vieux Lion Rouge now, and 8lb better off with Blaklion than in 2017.
This horse relishes this particular test and on soft or good to soft ground he has a fighting chance of turning around last year’s form with Blaklion. He holds Vieux Lion Rouge at the weights too. However, those two horses are likely to have the Grand National as their ultimate targets. It is all or nothing for Highland Lodge in this and at 20/1 he looks certain to give each way backers a thrilling run for their money.
TXODDS’ BECHER CHASE TIP: HIGHLAND LODGE E/W @ 20/1 NAP