Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase Odds and Preview – Horse Racing Betting December 7

Walk In The Mill can stage Aintree encore

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. Last year’s winner, Walk In The Mill, finished fourth in the big race in April.

Earth Summit actually won the Becher Chase under 12st in 1998, eight months after his triumph in that year’s Grand National and Blaklion won for Nigel Twiston-Davies two years ago when landing an almighty gamble.

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. 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 nine 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 of 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.

Recent Becher Chase Winners

Year Winner SP Trainer Jockey
2018 Walk In The Mill 10/1 Robert Walford James Best
2017 Blaklion 7/4 Nigel Twiston-Davies Gavin Sheehan
2016 Vieux Lion Rouge 8/1 David Pipe Tom Scudamore
2015 Highland Lodge 20/1 James Moffatt Henry Brooke
2014 Oscar Time 25/1 Robert Waley-Cohen Sam Waley-Cohen
2013 Chance du Roy 14/1 Philip Hobbs Tom O’Brien
2012 Hello Bud 14/1 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies
2011 West End Rocker 10/1 Alan King Wayne Hutchinson
2010 Hello Bud 15/2 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies
2009 Vic Venturi 7/1 Dessie Hughes Paddy Flood

 

Ballyoptic (a best 14/1) was fancied for the Becher Chase last year but was slowly away and well behind when falling at halfway. He is 4lb higher now in the weights, though was higher rated over hurdles and his stable have a terrific record in this race.

Definitly Red (a general 14/1) is probably the class act as he is a three-times Grade 2 winner over fences. He’s not reached his peak so far this season, however, and was pulled up in the 2017 Grand National won by One For Arthur with Vieux Lion Rouge third, though was badly hampered by a faller on the first circuit. One For Arthur is only a best 9/1 this weekend but 3m2f looks much too short for Lucinda Russell’s stayer nowadays. But Vieux Lion Rouge (a general 10/1) is interesting as he ran over hurdles after making a winning reappearance at Chepstow and has run some of his best races over these fences.

Mulcahys Hill (13/2 with Betfred), Mysteree and Wandrin Star  were others to make a winning comeback. The first-named was a smart hurdler who is potentially well treated over fences, though much will depend on how he takes to these unique obstacles given he lacks experience. Vintage Clouds (a general 8/1) has a touch of class but fell at the first in the Grand National in April and it remains to be seen if that has left its mark.

Le Breuil (33/1 with Paddy Power) looks completely overpriced. Generally consistent as a novice, he won the 4m National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in March under leading amateur Jamie Codd on his last appearance over fences. But there really is no reason not give WALK IN THE MILL a chance to repeat last year’s heroics.

These big fences clearly hold no fears for Robert Walford’s nine-year-old. James Best wisely pulled him up at Ascot when a lack of condition began to tell. This will have been his early-season target and he’s only 4lb higher than 12 months ago when he had more than four lengths to spare over Vieux Lion Rouge.

Randox Healthcare Becher Chase Current Best Odds

Mulcahys Hill 13/2, Vintage Clouds 8/1, One For Arthur 9/1, Kimberlite Candy, Vieux Lion Rouge and Walk In The Mill 10/1, Ballyoptic, As De Mee and Definitly Red 14/1, Alpha Des Obeaux and Mysteree 16/1, Ballydine 18/1, Wandrin Star 20/1, Abolitionist and Like The Sound 25/1, Le Breuil and Minellacelebration 33/1, Regal Flow 66/1

(Odds correct at 3.15pm December 5)

Walk In The Mill  – Becher Chase

10/1

MoPlay

 


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