Blaklion clear favourite for Becher Chase – Aintree 09/12/2017
The big race at Aintree is the £145,000 Becher Chase over 21 fences on the Grand National course.
The Last Samuri heads the weights in Becher Chase
2016 Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri tops the weights for Kim Bailey. He was trained for the National again last season but ran very flat, finishing in his own time in sixteenth place. Bailey feels that he lost his chance when caught up in the excitement among the large crowd that day. He reappeared at Kempton with a spin over hurdles last month but must shoulder 11st 12lbs on Saturday.
Blaklion receives 6lbs from The Last Samuri and is a warm favourite after a fine run at Wetherby. Nigel Twiston-Davies trains the eight-year-old who won the RSA Chase at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. He side-stepped the Festival in favour of last season’s Grand National, finishing a fine fourth to One For Arthur.
Blaklion returned to the track at Wetherby last month when he finished only half a length behind stable companion Bristol De Mai. The winner romped to a wide-margin win in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock and is now a leading fancy for the King George on Boxing Day.
Vieux Lion Rouge chasing repeat win at Aintree
David Pipe saddles Vieux Lion Rouge, the winner of last season’s Grand National Trial at Haydock. He was unable to reproduce that form at Aintree, finishing sixth. He loves soft ground and should finish closer to Blaklion than when well beaten at Wetherby last month.
Gas Line Boy will have plenty of supporters after looking an unlucky loser at Aintree in October. He looked to be full of running when falling at the third last fence. Gas Line Boy finished fifth in the National at odds of 50-1.
Vicente has won the Scottish Grand National for the past two seasons for Paul Nicholls. He fell at the first fence at Aintree and was re-routed to Ayr. His comeback run when second to Perfect Candidate at Cheltenham should set him up for a big run on Saturday. Stable companion As De Mee is a course winner and was also a creditable fifth in the Topham Chase. He probably needed the run when last of four to Might Bite at Sandown recently. The Young Master unseated his rider at the fifth at Ascot last time and also fell early on in the Grand National.
Aintree Betting Tips 09/12/2017
1.30 Becher Chase
Blaklion @4.0 Ladbrokes