Aintree Racecourse — Becher Chase Day
||Published: 10th December 2020 11:13
With the Grand National taking place virtually this year, the Aintree Racecourse staff are more eager than ever to bring racing back to Merseyside. The Becher Chase Day on 5th December 2020 will be the last racing held at the home of the Randox Health Grand National before the world's most famous festival begins in April.
With crowds coming back to sporting events in Liverpool, there will be a restricted amount of public spectators at the event, much to the delight of the local fanbase. There will be excellent National Hunt racing at the Becher Chase Day and it's imperative to check out the latest tips before picking out your horses for the meeting.
Here are some of the highlights of the day.
Becher Handicap Chase – 13:30
The Becher Chase is a Grade 3 handicap, run over a trip of 3 miles and 2 furlongs at the iconic Aintree racecourse. The race takes place over 21 fences and uses the same course as the Grand National, albeit over a shorter distance, and as a result the race is seen as a solid preview of horse capability for Grand National preparation by the connections. Three horses have won both the Becher Chase and the Grand National, so keeping an eye on the outcome of this race could help you pick out your selection for April.
Stamina and experience are paramount around Aintree, and for the Becher Chase it’s impossible to ignore Walk In The Mill. The 10-year-old Aintree specialist has won the Becher Chase for the past two years and will be amongst the favourites to record an unprecedented hat-trick in the race. The lightly raced French horse has been groomed for this over the past 12 months, only appearing twice since it’s last win in Merseyside.
An interesting outsider for the race is Calett Mad. The 8-year-old bay gelding has good form in National Hunt races, placing in 50% of the races it competes in. Importantly, the French horse also has exposure to winning, having prevailed in 2 of the 12 twelve Chase races it’s ran. Although it hasn’t won in over two years, that shouldn’t be too much of a concern as it’s the primary entry for Nigel Twiston-Davies and the National Hunt specialist is the most decorated trainer in Becher Chase history with 6 victories.
INSERT IMAGE HERE>>>https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2014/08/29/03/01/horses-430439_960_720.jpg>>>photo CAPTION: The Grand Sefton Handicap Chase could be close
Grand Sefton Handicap Chase – 15:15
The most tightly contested race of the day will most likely be the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase. The Class 2 race is run over a shorter distance of 2 miles and 5 furlongs, but still uses 18 of the Grand National fences. Much like the Becher Chase, the Grand Sefton benefits a stayer as stamina will be thoroughly tested.
Two of the last four winners of the event have been trained by Paul Nicholls OBE, and we see no reason why his top horse for the race, Modus, can’t give the 11 time British jump racing Champion Trainer another prized victory. The 10-year-old horse had an extended 465 day break before his most recent race in November which was an impressive 8 length victory over Springtown Lake. It’s clear that Nicholls reveres this particular race and is preparing his steed as best he can for December’s meeting.
In the wide-open event, it’s possible that Nicholl’s second horse Sametegal could also challenge for the £50,000 winning prize. The French horse has had two warm up races, placing 3rd in each of them, and has experience in the event having previously challenged in 2018. The deciding factor will no doubt be on which horse esteemed jockey Sean Bowen lands. The 23-year-old Welshman has a talent for winning the race having previously surged to victory in this event twice, taking home the spoils in both 2016 and 2018.
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