*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
A bumper field of 22 runners are set to go to post in the Becher Handicap Chase 2021 (Aintree, 14.40) but who do Paddy Power’s horse racing experts fancy?
It’s another chance to look at the mighty Grand National fences and a whole host of familiar names including last year’s winner Vieux Lion Rouge and runner-up Kimberlite Candy are declared to run.
NEW TO PADDY POWER?
We could have an unprecedented double as Grand Sefton hero Mac Tottie goes for back-to-back successes, while Grand National-winning trainer Henry de Bromhead has entered Grade 2 scorer Chris’s Dream who tops the weights by a considerable margin.
Generous Paddy’s paying SIX places but who do his panel of experts fancy? You’ll find their Becher Chase best bets and predictions below!
Becher Chase Tips
Matt Chapman: VIEUX LION ROUGE might be 12, but there is no reason why he won’t run another big one at his favourite track. Trained by David Pipe and ridden by Tom Scudamore, my hope won this off a mark of 140 last year and he’s 5lb higher here. That said, he’s still on a mark that gives him every chance at each-way odds.
Mick Fitzgerald: This is a fantastic opportunity for SNOW LEOPARDESS to follow up her comfortable success at Bangor. She will handle the ground, ticks a lot of the boxes required and she would be one I would be looking forward to riding round here.
Chris’s Dream brings a bit of class to this field and can’t be ruled out. Mighty Thunder is another who merits respect, this year’s Scottish Grand National winner had a good comeback at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase and could run well again here. Tout Est Permis is another who can challenge, but Lucinda Russell’s charge was disappointing in the Grand National.
Ruby Walsh: I like horses having their first go at Aintree so I’m going with ACHILLE. Achille has had a few big layoffs and is lightly run considering he’s 11 years old. Charlie Deutsch and Venetia Williams, it’s a yard in form, that’ll do me!
Frank Hickey: It’s an extremely competitive renewal but the forecast rain should mean we are looking at testing conditions, which will put a definite emphasis on stamina. TOP VILLE BEN has had his issues, missing over a year before a disappointing run in a Grade 2 in France, before finding the good ground all against him on his seasonal reappearance in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby.
The testing ground will be right up his street here and it was only two years ago that he turned the normally very competitive Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby into a procession. That was off a mark of 154 and this is four starts later and his first step back into a handicap since and he finds himself 4lbs lower.
It might prove to be the case that he isn’t the same horse since his absence but as a nine-year-old, he could bounce back now dropped in grade with conditions to suit. At a massive price and extra places on offer, he looks well worth an each-way play.
Timeform: SNOW LEOPARDESS produced a superb display of jumping when making all at Bangor on her return and she looks tailor-made for these fences. Chris’s Dream was still in fourth when unshipping his rider 4 out in the Grand National and another big run could be on the cards given his excellent record first-time out, while Mac Tottie is another who’s high on the shortlist after his win in the Grand Sefton.
Becher Chase Tips Summary
Saturday Horse Racing tips
- Horse Racing Tips: Ruby Walsh’s 8 best bets for Saturday’s ITV racing
- Horse Racing Tips: Matt Chapman’s 8 super selections for Saturday’s ITV races
- Horse Racing Tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s 8 sweet picks for Saturday’s ITV races
- Horse Racing Tips: Your ITV racing cheat sheet for Saturday’s action