Algernon Pazham the value bet in Becher Chase at Aintree
The feature race at Aintree on Saturday is the £140,000 Becher Handicap Chase over the famous Grand National fences at 1.40.
Pineau De Re
Aintree racegoers are in for a treat with the last two Grand National winners in action on the card. 2015 winner Many Clouds runs in the Lotto Chase while 2014 winner Pineau De Re will bid for his first victory since in the Becher.
The twelve-year-old provided trainer Dr Richard Newland with the highlight of his career when beating Balthazar King by five lengths off a mark of 143. He was unable to reproduce that level of form this year but completed in twelfth place. He hinted at a return to form when second to Vino Griego in a Veterans’ Chase at Sandown last month off a mark of 141.
Saint Are also booked his place in Grand National history when second to Many Clouds in April. He has also won here over the Mildmay course and finished third in last year’s Becher Chase behind Oscar Time.
Irish raider Goonyella won the Midlands National at Uttoxeter in March and was only beaten three-quarters of a length by Wayward Prince in the Scottish National next time. He warmed up for this by finishing third at Cork last month and the more rain the better for him.
Nigel Twiston-Davies saddles Algernon Pazham, a six-year-old son of Milan who was a brave second at Bangor-on-Dee last time. He jumped superbly in front but was just worn down by What A Good Night on the run-in and beaten a quarter of a length. He has been put up 7lbs but Ryan Hatch claims 3lbs off his back and he looks the ideal sort for a race like this.
No Planning won over hurdles at Haydock in May but returned to the larger obstacles at the same track last month. Sue Smith’s gelding finished third to Vieux Lion Rouge and is another with each-way claims in a wide open race.
David Pipe’s Soll is no stranger to the Aintree fences having run in two Grand Nationals and the Topham Chase. He has completed on each occasion without troubling the judge and the stable are still not firing on all cylinders. Unioniste is a classy performer in soft ground but got no further than the fifth here in the National and looks to have plenty of weight with 11st 12lb.
Algernon Pazham @9.0 Ladbrokes
Goonyella @9.0 Ladbrokes
Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3,4