2.10 Aintree BETFRED BECHER HANDICAP CHASE (LISTED RACE)
(CLASS 1) (6yo+) Winner £61,897 CH4 Heavy 3m2f Number of runners: 16
The Becher chase was introduced into the racing world back in 1992 and has been run every year since then at the Aintree racecourse, it is a Listed race which is run over 3m2f and is open to six year old runners or elder. The runners will run over the Grand National fences and this race is named after Martin Becher who also has Becher’s Brook named after him.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies holds the most trainer wins in the race having won it four times (1993, 1995, 1998 & 2010) and just behind him is Paul Nicholls with three wins (2004, 2006 & 2007). Dessie Hughes has won it twice in the last four year (2008 & 2009) and all three of these trainers have entries in this year’s race.
Over the past five years four of the winners were aged nine or younger, fourteen of the previous 20 winners were carrying less than eleven stone and there have only been two winning favourites in the last ten runnings.
|1||21/46-||Ballabriggs||11||11-12||Donald McCain||Jason Maguire||–|
|2||11P3-7||Join Together||7||11-4||Paul Nicholls||Daryl Jacob||–|
|3||F447/U||Big Fella Thanks||10||11-1||Tom George||Paddy Brennan||1|
|4||1211-5||Problema Tic||6||10-12||David Pipe||Tom Scudamore||–|
|5||00P-P1||Swing Bill||11||10-12||David Pipe||Conor O’Farrell||–|
|6||P1FP-3||West End Rocker||10||10-12||Alan King||Robert Thornton||1|
|7||1-1133||Mumbles Head||11||10-10||Peter Bowen||Tom O’Brien||–|
|8||76U1/5||Poker De Sivola||9||10-6||Ferdy Murphy||James Reveley||2|
|9||83-614||Any Currency||9||10-4||Martin Keighley||Aidan Coleman||2|
|10||P35-P||In Compliance||12||10-4||DT Hughes||Niall P Madden||–|
|11||160-7||Midnight Haze||10||10-4||Kim Bailey||Sougie Costello||–|
|12||120-25||Fabalu||10||10-1||Donald McCain||Brian Harding||–|
|13||9/44-0||Gullible Gordon||9||10-0||Peter Bowen||Ryan Mania||–|
|14||547-35||Hello Bud||14||10-0||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Sam Twiston-Davies||–|
|15||U27776-||Minella Theatre||9||10-0||Lawney Hill||David Bass||–|
|16||76-P27||Ballyvesey||7||10-0||Peter Bowen||Jamie Moore||–|
SBB Column Selections
I’ve ran the trends and this one comes out top rated for me, with Ballabriggs and Minella Theatre second and third. A good winner on seasonal reappearance at Wincanton in October before a solid 4th in a 28 furlong Grade 3 Chase at Cheltenham and I think he’s still worth a good run here.
POKER DE SIVOLA
This is going to be a real test of stamina today over this lengthy trip on testing ground and my pick is Poker De Sivola. Trip will not be a problem, has won over much further and the ground should not be a problem either. Off 136 today which is the same as his previous win and his run at Newcastle was his first for some time which would have done him the world of good for today’s run.
WEST END ROCKER
A tricky sort but a winner of this last year before he went on to fall in the national. The smaller 16 runner field suits him 5lbs higher than that convincing win but despite going down by mile to the Package last time this looks set up for Kings charge. Softish ground no issue.
Marc Owen Banks
He showed heart at Cheltenham in the Henrietta Knight handicap chase finishing a tired fourth up the hill, and will appreciate this drop back in trip on a flatter circuit, Receives weight from the leading lights and on a mark of 134 Martin Keighley’s 9yo looks like he can be really competitive in this.
BIG FELLA THANKS
Has got round the National fences in each of the last 3 years finishing 4th, 6th and 7th. No worries at all over distance or going and now down to its lowest mark since 2009 before winning the SkyBet chase at Doncaster. Misses out on some of the trends after unseating lto but is worth consideration after switching to Tom George’s stable.
POKER DE SIVOLA
At the prices I think that this represents the best value. Was an impressive winner in the Bet365 Gold Cup Chase in Sandown, he stayed on really strongly in testing conditions then and can do the same here after doing well enough in his prep run 43 days ago. West End Rocker is the danger but handicapper has kept him on a good mark and weight for today.