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 2019 renewal, this year run on Saturday 7th December.
Recent Becher Chase Winners
2018 – WALK IN THE MILL (10/1)
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
14/17 – Had won between 2-5 times over fences before
13/17 – Carried 10-12 or less
13/17 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
13/17 – Had no more than 1 start that season
12/17 – Officially rated between 123-138
12/17 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
12/17 – Had run over these Grand National-style fences before
11/17 – Irish-bred winners
11/17 – Aged 9 or older
11/17 – Had raced at Aintree before
10/17 – Went onto finish unplaced in that season’s Grand National
10/17 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
7/17 – Ran in the previous season’s Grand National
7/17 – Placed favourites
4/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/17 – Irish-trained winners
3/17 – Won last time out
3/17 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
1/17 – Went onto win the Grand National later in their career
0/17 – 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
Walk In The Mill won the race in 2018
Blaklion won the race in 2017
Vieux Lion Rouge won the race in 2016
JUICESTORM VERDICT: WALK IN THE MILL (e/w) won this race in 2018 and has since finished fourth in the Grand National, so we know these fences are to his liking. He’s only 4lbs higher than when beating another runner here – Vieux Lion Rouge by 4 ½ lengths and should be a lot fitter for his recent run in the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton last month. The Paul Nicholls yard have done well in the race, so their As De Mee, who is a past winner over the fences (2016 Sefton Chase) must be on the shortlist with Bryony Frost riding. Richard Johnston will catch the eye riding Alpha Des Obeaux for Gordon Elliott and Definitlty Red, plus the 2017 Grand National winner – One For Arthur – are other big names that are sure to have their supporters. Mulcahys Hill has reportedly schooled well over the fences in the week and ran a blinder to beat Wholestone at Cheltenham last time out, but with just 5 runs over fences that would be a worry. Kimberlite Candy has been well-touted in the week, but has a bit to prove for me, while Vintage Clouds will be fitter for his return run at Kelso. However, it’s hard to ignore the good record of the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard in the race – 6 wins in total – so their BALLYOPTIC (e/w) is the other to have on side. This 9 year-old was outclassed in the Betfair Chase last time, but is still a Grade Two winner this season after taking the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. The softer ground and any more rain will help him and even though he’s fallen the last twice he’s run over these fences, he went well for much of the way in the National last April. That experience of the fences will help and will have Sam Twiston-Davies riding him for the first time over these obstacles – he’s ridden the horse 8 times and only been out of the top 4 on him once (4 wins).
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