Becher Chase Betting and Odds Focus: Mac Tottie hot to trot for National fence double

Grand National fans needn't wait till April for a taste of the Aintree action as Saturday's Becher Chase features the big fences. Planet Sport has all the latest betting and news from Liverpool.

Forget your piddling chase obstacles, the Grand National fences at Aintree are the true test of national hunt horses and this big field presents plenty of value for the punter.

Be sure to check in with Planet Sport regularly in the build up the to race on Saturday, December 4 and Planet Sport Bet offers terrific prices too.

Mac Tottie loving it in build-up to second crack at National fence glory

Peter Bowen's Mac Tottie is primed for a Grand National fence double after winning the Grand Sefton chase over the big jumps in November.

Only a handful of races are run over the Grand National fences each season, with three of those at the big meeting in April - meaning options were limited.

That was certainly the case when the Grand Sefton and Becher Chase were held on the same afternoon, as they had been up until this year, but running the Grand Sefton and Aintree's November meeting means horses can now run in both.

Peter Bowen, who trained Always Waining to win three Topham Chases over the National fences, expects Mac Tottie to be even more suited by the extra distance in the Becher than when he won the Grand Sefton.

He said: "It probably will be harder task and he's got 7lb more to carry so it will be harder, but I think the trip will suit and he'll be even better going a bit further. Fingers crossed he should go well.

"We've not had many that don't take to the fences, most of the ones we have run tend to take to them and it's been a very lucky place for us. He took to them straight away, we didn't think it would be an issue and it wasn't.

"The top-weight (Chris's Dream) staying in has helped, he's on 10st 6lb so we're happy, he schooled brilliant yesterday morning and worked well the day before.

"It all depends if he can cope with his handicap mark (142) and handle the step up in trip, I think he will.

"I'm looking forward to it, he's so fit and well and everything has gone well for him since his last run."

He added: "Always Waining is still at home, he seems great in himself and you wouldn't think he was more than a four- or five-year-old."

Snow Leopardess ready to pounce

Charlie Longsdon is mightily excited about his Snow Leopardess taking on the mega fences of the Grand National course for Saturday's Becher Chase at Aintree.

A Grade Two winner over hurdles, the nine-year-old's racing days appeared to be over after she suffered injury when scoring in France four years ago.

But while the daughter of Martaline gave birth to a filly by Sir Percy during her spell on the sidelines, she was put back into training in 2019 and appears to have retained all her old ability.

"The plan was for her to come back in training. A lot of people said to me they don't come back as good, but she has come back as good as ever," said Longsdon.

"She loves her jumping and if she is not right she will tell you. Getting her back to this level of form is a big testament to the team with the issues she had."

Last season Snow Leopardess won a valuable handicap chase at Haydock, filled the runner-up spot in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby and finished fourth in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham.

And having recently made a successful reappearance at Bangor, hopes are high ahead of her latest bid for big-race success on Merseyside this weekend.

Longsdon said: "The Becher Chase has always been the plan. We went to Bangor and we were lucky it turned out to be on soft ground. I thought the track might be a bit sharp, but she jumped great.

"I met up with Aidan (Coleman) in Lambourn last week. We didn't do a lot up there and we literally went over the (National) fences once. Aidan said that was fine and not to worry about doing it any more.

"The worry with a horse that is bold and brave is that if they are going to be bold and brave over the National fences it is not necessarily ideal, but she was very quick in and out over them, which I was pleased to see.

"There is no doubt it would be special if she could win on Saturday as you don't get many of those mares like her with the story and everything that has gone with it."

Latest Horse-racing Videos