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Vieux Lion Rouge primed for another Becher Chase as he bids for third success

Vieux Lion Rouge: 12-year-old heads back to Aintree on Saturday
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Vieux Lion Rouge is something of an Aintree legend.

He has run at the course 11 times, ten of which have been over the Grand National fences, and has finished on all but one occasion. He has won two Becher Chases and was second in another. He likes the fences and loves the Becher Chase which he will contest for the sixth time on Saturday.

Vieux Lion Rogue did not complete on his last attempt, falling when in touch with the leaders at the 20th fence in April's Grand National won by Minella Times, but he has been getting some practice in at home.

Trainer David Pipe said: "Tom Scudamore schooled him over the fences – there's not really much point in doing it given how many times he's been round there, but we did it anyway as he had a fall last time he was there."


Vieux Lion Rouge's form in the Becher Chase

Vieux Lion Rouge won the Becher at his first attempt in 2016 off a mark of 142, beating the previous year's winner Highland Lodge by a short-head.

The following season he was seventh, the year after that he was second off 146 to Walk In The Mill – who himself came back and won the race the following year with Vieux Lion Rouge back in ninth.

He regained the title last season, winning by 24 lengths off a mark of 140 and is 5lb higher this time with less than a month until he officially becomes a teenager.

Vieux Lion Rouge: 24-length winner at Aintree last season

The 12-year-old is a top-priced 14-1 for Saturday's contest in a market headed by general 6-1 chance Mac Tottie, winner over the National fences in the Grand Sefton last month.

On his chances of stepping out of the company he currently shares with Into The Red (1994 and 1996), Hello Bud (2010 and 2012) and Walk In The Mill (2018 and 2019) to stand alone as the race's first three-time winner, Pipe said: "He's very well and we're very much looking forward to him going again.

"He's looking a million dollars and still full of life so it's lovely to have him running there again."

Read more ahead of the weekend:

JP McManus pair Champ and Defi Du Seuil ruled out of weekend targets

'It's tempting' – O'Brien considering John Durkan for Fakir D'Oudairies

Envoi Allen 'in great form' as he prepares to tackle Mullins aces in John Durkan

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He's very well and we're very much looking forward to him going again
E.W. Terms