Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase – Horse Racing Betting December 8

Flow fancied to give a bold sight over National fences

Horse Racing Betting

There are two races scheduled over the iconic Grand National fences at Aintree this Saturday.

The Grand Sefton, run over just over a circuit of the famous course, will provide its own spectacle but it’s preceded by the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase and this Grade 3 handicap generally attracts more interest given it’s become a viable Grand National trial having been won the past by Amberleigh House and Silver Birch, who both went on to glory in the big race itself.

Earth Summit actually won the Becher Chase under 12st in 1998, eight months after his triumph in that year’s Grand National and

Becher Chase History and Trends

The Becher Chase is open to horses aged five years or older. Contested at Aintree over a distance just short of 3m2f and over 21 obstacles, it includes all the famous Aintree fences like Becher’s Brook, The Chair, Valentines and Canal Turn and is a true test of staying power and jumping ability. It achieved Grade 3 status in 2014 having been first run in 1992.

  • There have been only three winners younger than eight in its history, but one of those was last year. Hello Bud was the oldest winner at 14 in 2012 (he also won in 2010) and he was one of three Nigel Twiston-Davies winners in the last eight years.
  • Irish trainer Dessie Hughes had the winner in both 2008 and 2009 while Paul Nicholls has trained the winner three times since 2004.
  • 12 0f the last 16 winners had run no more than once in the current season and the same number had won over at least 3m over fences.
  • Chasers rated between 123 and 138 have the best recent record.
  • 11 winners since 2002 had run at Aintree before but only seven had run in the previous year’s Grand National.

Becher Chase Winners Since 1992

    • 2017 – Blaklion
    • 2016 – Vieux Lion Rouge
    • 2015 – Highland Lodge
    • 2014 – Oscar Time
    • 2013 – Chance Du Roy
    • 2012 – Hello Bud
    • 2011 – West End Rocker
    • 2010 – Hello Bud
    • 2009 – Vic Venturi
    • 2008 – Black Apalachi
    • 2007 – Mr Pointment
    • 2006 – Eurotrek
    • 2005 – Garvivonnian
    • 2004 – Silver Birch
    • 2003 – Clan Royal
    • 2002 – Ardent Scout
    • 2001 – Amberleigh House
    • 2000 – Young Kenny
    • 1999 – Feels Like Gold
    • 1998 – Earth Summit
    • 1997 – Samlee
    • 1996 – Into the Red
    • 1995 – Young Hustler
    • 1994 – Into the Red
    • 1993 – Indian Tonic
    • 1992 – Kildimo

Given his excellent record in the race in recent years, it’s no surprise to see the two Nigel Twiston-Davies runners near the head of the market.

Blaklion carried 11st6lb to victory last year but is 5lb higher in the handicap now. Only a best 9/2 with Boylesports, he’s not the biggest and this will be a tough ask. Stablemate Ballyoptic was very highly tried in his first season over fences but did win at Exeter and Wetherby and was just beaten in the Scottish National in his final start. He’ll be a threat to all if taking to the National fences but others look better handicapped.

Highland Lodge (16/1 with Ladbrokes), the winner in 2015, has a terrific record in the Becher. He was second in 2016, behind Vieux Lion Rouge (a general 10/1), and third last year behind Blaklion. Ultragold is another who loves these fences as he has won the last two runnings of the Topham and was second in the Grand Sefton on the card 12 months ago. He is 12/1 with Ladbrokes, though 3m2f is beyond his best.

Present Man won the Badger Beer at Wincanton last month for a second year running and he runs in this rather than the Grade 2 on the card. Bryony Frost’s mount is 10/1 with William Hill on his first try over the National fences. Don Poli is the same odds and has win and place form at the highest level but it would be a phenomenal training achievement by Gordon Elliott to have him primed for this after a 664-day lay-off.

REGAL FLOW looks overpriced at 33/1 with BetVictor in a race that is not immune to the odd shock result. Not given a hard time in two runs this autumn, Bob Buckler’s stayer won the Midlands National last season an was also successful over shorter distances at Wincanton and Taunton. He’s s pretty safe conveyance for young James Bowen and, with the barometer falling rapidly, may well have his optimum conditions by ‘off’ time. There are a many worse each-way options in this.

Becher Chase Current Best Odds

Blaklion 9/2, Ballyoptic 11/2, Don Poli, Present Man and Vieux Lion Rouge 10/1, Ultragold 12/1, Missed Approach and Noble Endeavor 14/1, Crosshue Boy and Highland Lodge 16/1, Call It Magic, Fine Theatre and Walk In The Mill 25/1, Federici, Just A Par and Regal Flow 33/1, Dare To Endeavour and Mustmeetalady 50/1

(Odds correct at 3.45pm December 6)

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