Run over the same fences as the National at Aintree Racecourse, this is a race that really excites National hunt fans.
Often seen as a preview to the big race, this is where punters get to see some of the Grand National hopefuls in action.
For 2023 the race will take place on Saturday, December 9th at 2.05pm and for those of you in the UK, you can watch it live on ITV4.
This year saw another bumper crop of entries but with a maximum of only 30 allowed to run in the Becher Chase 2023, we are now down to the 14 declared runners.
So who is in the running and will the race throw up any clues as to who could run a great Grand National in 2024?
Becher Chase 2023 Runners
The Becher Chase is a handicapped race. This means that the top horse is allocated a weight of 12-00.
That is two pounds higher than the maximum National weight but the Becher is nearly a mile shorter and is run over a distance of 3m2f.
This year the entries come from a large number of trainers, with 15 trainers supplying the 17 runners.
Only two trainers have entered multiple horses and they are Nicky Henderson with Mister Coffee and Fantastic Lady and Stuart Crawford with Dorking Cock and Now Where Or Win.
Despite their dominance of Irish racing, Willie Mullins has no entries for the Becher Chase 2023 and Gordon Elliott is pinning his hopes on Coko Beach.
Becher Chase 2023 Odds
(*odds correct as of 08/12/23)
There are definitely some clear favourites on the betting markets.
|The Big Breakaway||8/1|
|Now Where Or When||12/1|
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Bechers Chase Runners Guide 2023
Hails from a big yard but also has to lump around a pretty hefty weight.
Pulled up in last year’s Grand National and will need to bring his best Troytown form with him to figure on Saturday.
The Big Breakaway
Winless since November 2020 but is still a class horse who pops up when you least expect it.
He wasn’t disgraced on his seasonal comeback either and there may be more to come from him.
Second on debut for his latest yard at Kelso in October, Fergal O’Brien may just have the perfect horse here for these unique National fences.
He also likes testing ground and can figure prominently.
Pretty disappointing over hurdles at Cheltenham last time out and was beaten a long way in last year’s National.
It’s the name McCain at Aintree however and it would be dangerous to totally dismiss him.
Won a Veteran’s Handicap here a month ago but this is a much deeper race.
Feels like it would need to fall into the eleven-year-old’s lap once again in order to go back-to-back.
I had Moroder down as a regional plodder not so long ago but he totally opened my eyes when landing Doncaster’s Grimthorpe Chase.
He may well be a lively outsider in this.
Won this race last year but I can’t bring myself to get involved with a horse that has been pulled up at the last twice.
Odds of 4/1 look very skinny to me.
Veteran performer but a solid jumper and continually grinds away in staying races of this nature.
His Cheltenham form last month could well hold the key here.
Now Where Or When
Pulled up in the Irish Grand National but does appear to have a pedigree for long distances.
It will take a leap of faith however to back this horse today.
Admittedly this nine-year-old can cope with marathon trips but he really does look out of his depth in this contest and I can’t see him figuring at all.
Won the Grimthorpe Chase in March 2022 and almost achieved it again in 2023 when just touched off by Moroder at Doncaster.
He looks like a very strong each-way play to me off 10st 2lb.
Third in this last season and third a month ago in the Grand Sefton.
Percussion is likely to drum up plenty of support amongst punters and he is a strong contender for a podium spot once again.
Ran an excellent race at Exeter in October and appeared to enjoy Aintree back at the May evening meeting.
This is all very new for the youngster however but he may well just warm to the fences.
Previously trained by Tom Lacey and wasn’t a bad little stayer for him either.
Won nicely for Stuart Crawford the other week around Navan and I rate him as a dangerous dark horse.
Tips For The Race
If you’re keen and want to get an early bet on then look for horses on good form and preferably those who run well on soft or heavy ground.
The UK weather has been particularly bad this week with several meetings called off or postponed.
The current going is SOFT, Heavy in places on National course, and this is unlikely to improve over the next few days.
The horse you back will need to relish a slog in the mud if they want to win on Saturday.
A bit of experience around Aintree also helps. Even if they have never won there if they have at least run over the National fences they stand a better chance of doing well.
Unusually, the Irish trained horses haven’t done well in this race. If Coko Beach does the job for Gordon Elliott, he would be the first Irish-trained winner since Dessie Hughes won in 2009 with Vic Venturi.
1. Dorking Cock
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