Jumps racing is back and trainers and punters will be looking towards this year’s Becher Chase at Aintree as a guide for next year’s Grand National! The race will take place on Saturday, December 5th at 1.30pm.
November is the time of year when the Aintree fences get their first outing of the season. Many of the horses being entered are using this opportunity to warm-up for their ultimate goal of the 2021 Grand National. Expect to see some familiar faces as well as some new kids on the block as they tough it out over the £150,000 prize pot.
The Becher Handicap Chase is a Class 1, 3m2f, open to 5-year-olds and over with the winner picking up a very nice £67,356 from the prize fund. The race, that uses the same fences as The Grand National, has 21 of them along the way. The race is a fairly new one, it was first introduced in 1992.
Since it was first run in 1992, only two horses have gone on to win the Grand National after winning The Becher Chase. They were Amberleigh House in 2001 and Silver Birch in 2004.
Walk In The Mill has won The Becher Chase for the last two years, both times ridden by James Best. However, this year’s 2020 Grand National didn’t take place for the first time since World War 2. As a result Walk In The Mill wasn’t able to have a second go at the Grand National. In 2019 he came fourth so could be one to look out for in 2021!
Becher Chase 2020 Contenders
The Becher Chase has a maximum number of 30 runners. For 2020 there were 36 entries and those potential contenders have now been whittled down and just 17 remain in contention.
As with any race that has the potential to determine a solid Grand National contender, there are a lot of familiar names in the running in 2020. Walk In The Mill is back again looking for his third consecutive win. Despite his past record, he still isn’t the favourite.
That honour goes to Le Breuil. Trained by Ben Pauling, he is currently on the shortest odds of 9/2 ante-post with Paddy Power. A really strong long-distance chaser, he was 7th in the Becher last season and was fourth last time out at Kelso in October.
Also in the mix is Yala Enki, trained by Paul Nicholls. Yala Enki was due to run in the 2020 National under the guidance of jockey Bryony Frost. However, as we all know, that didn’t happen. So can Bryony successfully guide the 10-year-old around the Aintree fences on December 5th instead?
Paddy Power Odds for the Becher Chase 2020
|Paddy Power Odds applicable as of 01/12/2020|
|Le Breuil||9/2||Kimberlite Candy||5/1||Walk In The Mill||11/2|
|Yala Enki||8/1||Ramses De Teillee||8/1||Calett Mad||8/1|
|Coo Star Sivola||10/1||Give Me A Copper||10/1||Crosspark||12/1|
|Smooth Stepper||16/1||Vieux Lion Rouge||16/1||Jett||20/1|
|Double Shuffle||25/1||Calipso Collonges||25/1|
Becher Chase Tips
It’s very difficult to discount Walk In The Mill. Going into the race as the reigning champion will give connections a huge boost. That said he was well beaten last time out at Ascot in October. He finished seventh, 29L behind the winner Regal Encore. Though that may have just been a warm-up and with his legs stretched he could run another great race.
Ramses De Teillee had a solid win at Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago, beating Yala Enki by a nose. Despite Yala Enki carrying six pounds more than Ramses De Teillee in the Becher Chase, they could both still be in with a shout.
As a bit of an outsider, Minnellacelebration could be one to watch. On excellent form, the 10-year-old has already notched up two wins this season. The first was in July at Utooxter and he followed that up with a win at Aintree last time out in October.
With the weights allocated and the field narrowed down, there are still a few days to size up the contenders. So until we know the final line-up, we will have to hold off on any further predictions. However, if you have a real fancy then you can bet on them today with Paddy Power.