Mac Tottie’s Aintree Pedigree Making Punters Swoon
Friday 12th November 2021
Randox Health Grand National

While the Cheltenham Festival remains the showpiece occasion in the National Hunt calendar, it’s still the Grand National that captures the hearts and minds of the more casual racing fan.

The Aintree showpiece is still the most bet-upon race on the jumps schedule, and so having an insight as to who will run well over the fearsome fences in advance is a handy advantage for savvy punters.
The Merseyside course, and its unique obstacles, offers up plenty of clues prior to the April meeting by hosting a number of races earlier in the campaign, and that’s one of the reasons why the betting community eagerly watches on as the likes of the Grand Sefton Chase and the Becher Chase unfold.

The latter will be run on December 8 this year, and leading the way in the odds will be Mac Tottie, who has already won the former. For those who like to bet on horse racing, that’s an interesting insight indeed.
The eight-year-old, trained by the Pembrokeshire-based handler Peter Bowen, will surely feature prominently in the horse racing tips for the Becher Chase and, who knows, if the step up in trip suits, a run at the Grand National next year might just be in the offing.

Going the Distance

Bowen, and the ownership duo Steve and Jackie Fleetham, will need to decide if they want to test out Mac Tottie over longer trips this season.
As a younger chaser, he stuck primarily to races under three miles, with his victories in the Sefton Chase and the Brown Chamberlin Trophy coming at that shorter mark.

But that’s not to say he hasn’t shown previous over three miles and further, with a decent run in a novices’ champion chase at Ayr over 3m 20f producing a decent second place return – and off a weight of 11-05 into the bargain.

There will be interest to see how the handicapper treats Mac Tottie ahead of the Becher Chase, which is a renewal that has been won only once by a horse weighing 11-0 or more in the past decade. If he is given a tough mark, perhaps those odds of 8/1 will start to look a touch short.

One of the functions that the Becher Chase serves is to act as a primer for the Grand National, with the 3m 2f length and the fact that the race is run over the same fences as Aintree’s showpiece event. And so we can trace a line of success from the Becher in December to the National in April.
The likes of Amberleigh House, Earth Summit and Silver Birch have won both, while Vieux Lion Rouge, Walk in the Mill and Blaklion have all placed in the National and won the Becher Chase.

So all eyes will be on Mac Tottie as he looks to build upon his impressive track record at Aintree, and if he handles the step up in trip accordingly then he could be a factor in the Grand National.

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