Becher Handicap Chase Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 1.30 at Aintree, 8th December 2018
Late December/early November each year gives us our first look at the famous Grand National fences of the season in this popular contest. Here we take a look at the best odds and offers and provide our betting tips for the Becher Handicap Chase.
This 3m2f contest open to runners aged five and older was first run at Aintree in 1992. With 21 obstacles to tackle in all, the Grade 3 event now offers a total of £140,000 in total prize money.
Becher Handicap Chase Betting Tips 2018
Odds are correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Also check out our Tingle Creek betting tips for details of one of the weekend’s other big races!
Becher Handicap Chase Betting Offers
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Becher Handicap Chase Race Preview and Betting Tips 2018
Aintree racecourse is known the world over as the host of the Grand National. The popularity of that race means that the fences are also world famous but only a select few races are held over them during the year. The Becher Chase is one of those races and a host of horses who will contest the 2019 Grand National are included in the field for Saturday’s Grade 3 handicap which is run over 3 miles 2 furlongs.
Ballyoptic to Pip Stablemate
The Becher Chase is a very competitive handicap so it is interesting to note that the two latest renewals were both won by the bookies’ favourites. Both of those most recent winners – Blaklion and Vieux Lion Rouge – are set to return to Aintree for another crack at landing the £84,195 winner prize for connections.
Blaklion is the most likely of those two win, so much so that he’s been installed as the favourite with the bookies. However, there is a real chance that he will get beaten by his stablemate, Ballyoptic who is available at 5/1 with Betfred. Nigel Twiston-Davies is delighted to have two such well fancied options for the race as he looks to extend his record as the winning most trainer in the Becher Chase but it’s Ballyoptic that he’s been talking up lately.
Twiston-Davies very much sees Ballyoptic as a potential Grand National winner. The fact that he is happy to try him out over the Grand National fences on his seasonal reappearance means he must be very happy with Ballyoptic’s work at home and there are no doubts about his stamina given that he finished second in the Scottish Grand National at the end of last season.
Walk This Way For an Each Way Shot
These sort of competitive, stamina sapping tests of jumping are ripe for each way bets. There are a number of horses with the potential to do something very good against the odds on Saturday and Walk In The Mill looks to have gone under the radar at 33/1 with Ladbrokes.
Robert Walford’s eight-year-old was a late non runner in the Grand National so connections clearly feel that he has the stamina and jumping ability to contend in these valuable handicaps. That jumping ability was lacking last time out but his stamina got him through as he finished third at Cheltenham.
You can forgive Walk In The Mill being a little sloppy as that was his first appearance since January. With that performance under his belt and much more work done back at home there he should be much sharper this time around. Although he hasn’t done much that would be considered eye catching amongst quality competition, Walk In The Mill has shown glimpses of real ability and having matured this could be the time for him to kick on and show just what he’s capable of.
Becher Handicap Chase Previous Winners
- 2017 – Blaklion – jockey Gavin Sheehan, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies
- 2016 – Vieux Lion Rouge – jockey Tom Scudamore, trainer David Pipe
- 2015 – Highland Lodge – jockey Henry Brooke, trainer James Moffatt
- 2014 – Oscar Time – jockey Sam Waley Cohen, trainer Robert Waley-Cohen
- 2013 – Chance Du Roy – jockey Tom O’Brien, trainer Philip Hobbs
- 2012 – Hello Bud – jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies
- 2011 – West End Rocker – jockey Wayne Hutchinson, trainer Alan King
- 2010 – Hello Bud – jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies
- 2009 – Vic Venturi – jockey Paddy Flood, trainer Dessie Hughes
- 2008 – Black Apalachi – jockey Denis O’Regan, trainer Dessie Hughes
- 2007 – Mr Pointment – jockey Sam Thomas, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2006 – Eurotrek – jockey Liam Heard, trainer Paul Nicholls
Becher Handicap Chase History
There are few races in the calendar year that can truly be regarded as a legitimate trial for the unique demands of Aintree’s Grand National. Prior to the introduction of this event in 1992, there had been a spell of two decades where no other race even took place over the Grand National course. At 3m2f in distance, this contest may not be run over quite so far a distance as the 4m+ of the Grand National, but it does at least offer competitors the chance to tackle the National courses famous fences.
It is in fact the name of one of these fences which lends its name to the race; the (in)famous Becher’s Brook. One of the courses most challenging obstacles in turn takes its name from soldier, jockey and one of the founding fathers of the Grand National itself, Martin Becher. Invariably a popular betting heat, which has consistently attracted a good quality field, the Becher Chase was belatedly granted Grade 3 status for the first time in 2014.
Winners of this race Amberleigh House (2001) and Silver Birch (2004) utilised their experience here to good effect, when going on to land the most famous race of them all in 2004 and 2007 respectively. The famous National specialist Earth Summit- who won the English, Scottish and Welsh versions of the race- followed up his 1998 Grand National triumph with a win in here.
Gloucestershire based handler Nigel Twiston-Davies has a pretty impressive record here. His six wins in the race as of 2018 put him out in front in the training ranks. Two of Nigel Twiston-Davies victors were ridden to glory by his son Sam Twiston-Davies. Chris Maude and Tony Dobbin have also recorded two successes in the race, but no jockey has yet landed the hat-trick.
Whilst open to all runners aged five and older, none so youthful have yet prevailed. Silver Birch and Indian Tonic share the honour of being the youngest winners, being seven at the time of their victories. The grand old warrior Hello Bud took this in 2010 at 12 years of age, and proved he wasn’t done with quite yet in 2012, becoming the oldest winner in the races history, at 14.