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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.
12 months ago, in 2020, the David Pipe-trained Vieux Lion Rouge won the race for a second time and despite now being a 12 year-old could be back for more in 2021.
Here at JUICESTORM we look back at recent winners and gives you the key trends to look out for ahead of the 2021 renewal, this year run on Saturday 4th December.
Recent Becher Chase Winners
2020 – VIEUX LION ROUGE (12/1)
2019 – WALK IN THE MILL (8/1)
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
15/19 – Had won between 2-5 times over fences before
15/19 – Carried 10-12 or less
15/19 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
15/19 – Had no more than 1 start that season
14/19 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
14/19 – Had run over these Grand National-style fences before
13/19 – Aged 9 or older
12/19 – Officially rated between 123-138
12/19 – Officially rated between 123-138
11/19 – Irish-bred winners
11/19 – Went onto finish unplaced in that season’s Grand National
11/19 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
8/19 – Ran in the previous season’s Grand National
8/19 – Placed favourites
4/19 – Winning favourites
3/19 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/19 – Irish-trained winners
3/19 – Won last time out
3/19 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
1/19 – Went onto win the Grand National later in their career
0/19 – Went onto win the Grand National that same season
The average winning SP in the last 19 years is 12/1
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has won the race 6 times since 1993
Vieux Lion Rouge won the race in 2016 and 2020
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Over the National-style fences here so always a nice spectacle to enjoy. Last season we saw the 11 year-old VIEUX LION ROUGE (e/w) win the race for a second time and despite being another year older this time, looks to have a big chance again. He’s only got 10-9 to carry and will be fitter for a return run at Chepstow in October. He’s rated 5lbs higher this time than 12 months ago, but let’s not forget he bolted up by 24 lengths that day. Kimberlite Candy was the horse that was runner-up last year and seems to enjoy these fences, so another bold showing is on the cards. The other of interest though off just 10st is the Ben Pauling runner – LE BREUIL (e/w). He was third in this race last year but is rated 5lbs lower this time and will carry 8lbs less in racing weight. A recent run in the Southern National would have helped his fitness after a break and off this mark of 136 is starting to look very well handicapped. Hogan’s Height won the 2019 Grand Sefton over these fences, so the course is fine, but the longer trip here is the slight worry. Sticking with the Grand Sefton, this year’s winner – Mac Tottie will be looking for a famous double in these earlier season races over the National Fences – they were normally run on the same day. This Peter Bowen runner is up 7lbs from that last run and has another 5 furlongs to go this time. He still only has 10-6 to carry though, but you feel he’s not much value in the betting in a race run over a much longer trip. Snow Leopardess likes to race up with the pace so we can expect to see this grey prominent early one. She won well at Bangor last time too and is interesting on debut over these fences. 2021 Scottish National winner Mighty Thunder has to be considered too off a 6lb higher mark, while the Irish challenge is spearheaded by the Henry De Bromhead-trained Chris’s Dream, who is the class act in the race, but as a result has 11-12 to carry – meaning all bar one other runner – Lord Du Mensil – have 11st or less to carry. The final pick though is the Nigel Twiston-Davies runner – CHECKITOUT (e/w). The yard has a top record in this race – winning it three times and most recently in 2017. This 7 year-old was a fair second on his return to Larry at Ascot at the end of October and even though he’s up 4lbs for that, the useful Jordan Nailor is also to claim a handy 3lbs.
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