The Becher Chase 2019 is a highly anticipated race. Run over the same fences as the Grand National, this is where a lot of trainers send their runners as a mini-test for the big event. Sure, not all Becher Chase runners will even get a Grand National entry but those that do well always create a bit of chatter and hype.
Case in point was last year’s Becher Chase winner, Walk In The Mill. He ran an excellent race and proved his worth over the tricky fences and in doing so bagged himself a Grand National entry. Despite his excellent credentials, he still only went off at odds of 25/1. Savvy punters who recognised a good chaser when they saw him were rewarded with a fourth-place finish which would have returned a nice profit on the each-way bet.
So with this year’s race scheduled to take place at Aintree on Saturday 7th December 2019, who is looking good for the win?
Becher Chase Tips
It’s no surprise that Walk In The Mill is a hot favourite once again. He will be carrying a few more pounds than last season but that shouldn’t be too much of a concern. He returned this season at Wincanton but was pulled up in the Badger Beers Handicap Chase which was ultimately won by Give Me A Copper.
Another potential chaser who could run a good race is Wandrin Star. Trained by Kim Bailey, he will be ridden by David Bass in the Becher and at odds of 25/1 with Paddy Power he could be one to keep an eye on. He had a good run last season and has been steadily moving up in class.
However, the Becher Chase is a huge step up so he may struggle with the level of competition he has to face. Other than that, he jumps well, won first time back this season, can go the distance and will carry a winnable weight.
Ballydine is another reasonably short-priced runner on odds of 14/1 with Paddy Power. Trained by Charlie Longsdon, he did well last season before pulling up in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter. But that was at the end of a long season and didn’t reflect his otherwise good form.
A very consistent runner, he has won or placed in five of his seven chase starts and has been given a decent weight by the Handicapper for the Becher Chase 2019. He hasn’t run since March, however, Ballydine is a horse that does well when fresh so this will be a good test as a seasonal return. He is also owned by Alan Halsall who sits on the Aintree Race Committee and previously ran Bishops Road in the 2016 National. Expect a Grand National 2020 entry for Ballydine!
Whittling Down The Contenders
If the three suggestions above don’t float your boat and instead you fancy taking a look yourself, there are certain criteria to bear in mind. A lot of the past winners fall into certain categories and while there are no hard and fast rules to picking a winner, these should help you narrow down your selections:
- Age: This is a tough race and horses with experience do better than those who are lightly chased
- Wins: Most of the past Becher Chase winners have had between 2 and 5 previous wins over fences
- Distance: Majority of past winners had won at 3m or more
- Rating: 12 from the last 17 winners were officially rated between 123-138
- Weight: Only four of the last 17 winners carried more than 10-12.
So there you have it, our selection for who we think will do well on Saturday in the Becher Chase 2019. And you never know, we may very well see a few of them back in Aintree for the Grand National 2020.