The Becher Chase is run at Aintree racecourse over the historic Grand National-style fences and, therefore, provides punters with some early-season clues ahead of the world’s most famous steeplechase.
Run over the 3m2f the race has been won six times by trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, while Silver Birch and Amberleigh House are recent winners of the Becher Chase then went on later in their careers to land the Grand National too.
We look back at recent winners and gives you the key trends to look out for ahead of the 2018 renewal, this year run on Saturday 8th December.
Recent Becher Chase Winners
2017 – BLAKLION (7/4 fav)
2016 – VIEUX LION ROUGE (8/1 fav)
2015 – HIGHLAND LODGE (20/1)
2014 – OSCAR TIME (25/1)
2013 – CHANCE DU ROY (14/1)
2012 – HELLO BUD (14/1)
2011 – WEST END ROCKER (10/1)
2010 – HELLO BUD (15/2 fav)
2009 – VIC VENTURI (7/1)
2008 – BLACK APALACHI (15/2)
2007 – MR POINTMENT (15/2)
2006 – EUROTREK (25/1)
2005 – GARVIVONNIAN (33/1)
2004 – SILVER BIRCH (4/1 fav)
2003 – CLAN ROYAL (11/2)
2002 – ARDENT SCOUT (14/1)
Becher Chase Betting Trends
13/16 – Had won between 2-5 times over fences before
12/16 – Carried 10-12 or less
12/16 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
12/16 – Had no more than 1 start that season
11/16 – Aged 9 or older
11/16 – Officially rated between 123-138
11/16 – Irish bred winners
11/16 – Had raced at Aintree before
11/16 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
11/16 – Had run over these Grand National-style fences before
10/16 – Went onto finish unplaced in that season’s Grand National
9/16 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
7/16 – Ran in the previous season’s Grand National
7/16 – Placed favourites
4/16 – Winning favourites
3/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/16 – Irish-trained winners
3/16 – Won last time out
3/16 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
1/16 – Went onto win the Grand National later in their career
0/16 – Went onto win the Grand National that same season
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 11/1
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has won the race 6 times since 1993
Blaklion won the race in 2017
Vieux Lion Rouge won the race in 2016
Highland Lodge won the race in 2015
JUICESTORM VERDICT: There is every chance that we could see the last three winners of this race – Blaklion, Vieux Lion Rouge and Highland Lodge – line-up again this year, they will all be looking to follow in the hoof-prints of Hello Bud and Into The Red, who are the only horses to have won this race more than once. All three are respected as course form over these National-style fences is a big plus – 11 of the last 16 winners had experienced them before. 12 of the last 16 winners had also carried 10-12 or less in weight, while 11 of the last 16 were aged 9 or older. Last year’s winner – Blaklion – has more weight to carry this year and is also rated 5lbs higher but he beat The Last Samuri by 9 lengths that day and will love it if conditions get any softer – he’s a big player as he looks to become the first ever back-to-back winner of the race but does have a tiny bit to prove after being pulled-up the last time we saw him in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown back in April. Of the three recent winners, the David Pipe-trained VIEUX LION ROUGE ticks all of those key trends and despite having a few issues last season might be worth chancing. He’s had a recent wind operation too and returns on a mark only 4lbs higher than his 2016 win. He’s also gone well fresh, while Tom Scudamore is a plus in the saddle. Ultragold is another to note and is a past course winner for the in-form Colin Tizzard yard, while the Twiston-Davies camp also run Go Conquer, who could be interesting off 10st 13lbs. However, the other pick is the Paul Nicholls-trained PRESENT MAN (e/w). This 8 year-old doesn’t quite tick all the main trends but the Nicholls yard have a fair record in this race, with three wins since 2004, and at just 8 years-old there could be more to come from this one. He won the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton last month on his return and despite being up 7lbs here looks the sort to do well over these fences. Bryony Frost rides as she looks to become the first female-winning rider of this prize. Others to note are Don Poli, who returns from almost 2 years out but being the top-rated in the field (160) will have to win with 11-12 on his back. The final one of interest is Missed Approach, who is another that looks the sort to enjoy these fences. He’s a horse that’s gone well fresh in the past so the 224-day break is fine and he will relish this stamina trip after winning the Kim Muir over this distance at the Cheltenham Festival last season and has also been second in the 4m race at the Festival. Sam Waley-Cohen, who has a decent record over these fences, is also a big plus in the saddle and claims a handy 3lbs too.
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