Grand National Prep Races: The Becher Chase

The declarations for the Becher Chase have been announced and the field sees a good mix of familiar faces and interesting newcomers set to face the Grand National fences.

2007 National winner Silver Birch takes his place in the field along with other Aintree favourites such as Parsons Legacy, Can’t Buy Time, Irish Raptor and State Of Play.

Newcomers that catch the eye are Scottish National winner Hello Bud, Howard Johnson’s inexperienced but talented chaser Companero and Irish raider Vic Venturi.

Paul Nicholls has won three of the last five runnings of the Becher Chase and has two entries at this stage – Hoo Loo Baloo and Nozic.

Also, on the card on Sunday is the Grand Sefton Chase which also takes place over the Grand National fences. This race tends to have less of a long term effect on the Grand National itself due to being run over a shorter distance, but there are still some interesting runners entered with Idle Talk, One Cool Cookie and Always Waining gaining entries here and in the Becher and the likes of Brooklyn Brownie, Bible Lord and Private Be also due to line up in the Sefton.

However, the most intriguing entrant is probably the enigmatic Seven Is My Number form the David Pipe yard. The David Johnson owned gelding has looked to have his fair share of temperament in the past but the Pond House team have done well to win three chases with him this year and it will be very interesting to see how he takes to the National fences.

Who do you fancy in the Becher Chase and the Grand Sefton and can the winners of these races go on to further success in the Grand National 2010?

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64 Responses to Grand National Prep Races: The Becher Chase

  1. Ben Aitken says:

    Another one for the Dosage Figures Neil! 7-1 sp, thank you very much!

    I’m with you, his jumping was slow on more than one occasion and with more runners and more fences to get in the way come April I don’t think the National will be ideal.

    Likely to get a large enough weight as well.

  2. Neil S says:

    Ben did you have it yourself, sorry TC about Hello Bud.

  3. Pablo says:

    Interesting to see what the handicapper does this year with Vic Venturi

    Apart from the weight he has plenty of experience in big fields in Ireland, has never fallen, goes on any ground and seems to be better with headgear

    Not a forlorn hope by any means but won’t be backing him in a hurry

    Hello Bud completed the course which is a big plus and has run better on better ground so it’s too soon to write him off I think

  4. TC says:

    Glad i didnt fully commit to putting too much on Hello Bud, i think he jumped well and the trip was clearly too short for him. I still think he has a big national chance and will still be lowly weighted come april
    Vic Venturi will surely be weighted out of the national now. Was very impressed with Keenan’s futures’ run and he definitely looks one for the national as it looked as if he wanted further

  5. Ben Aitken says:

    I did Neil, backed it at 5-1 with Pad Pow but they give best price guaranteed so got the 7-1! My other bet of the day was Pak Jack EW. I made sure that I gave myself some time to bet this wkend!!

    Thought Hello Bud ran well but maybe his effort at Cheltenham last week started to take its toll late on?

  6. Neil S says:

    Don’t you qualify for a free bet with them. Myself I did it online with the Magic Sign at SP. (Ladbrokes)

  7. Ben Aitken says:

    Free bet with Pad Pow? Not at the moment no. Can’t believe Vic Venturi was allowed to start at 7-1, the softening ground was always likely to be in his favour.

  8. Neil S says:

    According to the beeb he was friendless in the market. That’s why I don’t pay any attention to SP trends. Although you feel more confident when the market is going with you.

    I thought that PP does the sponsoring for CH4 racing saying free bet if your winner is 4/1 or better. Might be confusing them with another bookmaker.

    Still your book is 3/3 for this weekend even if I picked the wrong one at 3.10 Ascot.

  9. Ben Aitken says:

    Yeah, SP trends are not much cop in my opinion; the horse doesn’t know what price it is!

    Think you are confusing PP with B365.

    Book is 3/3 this wkend and between us we are 3/3!

    Ascot Hurdle – Ben = Karabak / Neil = Zaynar
    Amlin Chase – B = Albertas Run / N = Schindlers H
    Becher – B = Vic Venturi / N = Vic Venturi

    Do we think Vic Venturi will be raised 7lbs for his win to 155? More if Mr Smith adds the Aintree factor?

  10. Pablo says:

    If he goes up to 155 there’s a better Old Vic rated 154 – previous winner and 2nd – COD!! Be interesting to see what his rating is though – apart from that everything else would be pretty much spot on for VV with a hurdles run and a spin in the Bobbyjo to freshen him up. 25/1 too short with doubts about the weight.

  11. Systemsman says:

    Well I am happy with Hello Buds 5th palce. OR 142 should stay the same(?) – was this the plan all along?. He finished and got to look around Aintee and those GN fences after a hard race at cheltenham and runs better over further and better ground. One for the short list.

    Anyone got Hello Buds best RPR rating? How does his general GN profile look now?

  12. Neil S says:

    His best RPR is when he won the Scottish National and was 145, his runs this season at Ascot and Cheltenham have been 143 and 144.

  13. Conduit says:

    Any news if Palypso De Creek will be aimed at the National after a quite nice run on sunday ?

  14. crisp 73 says:

    Well done Ben/Neil for sticking with the ‘dosage’ favourite Vic Venturi- I thought the weight rise would stop him and Keenan’s Future, I backed it e/w 14/1, would prevail. Becher seems to be becoming a stat friendly chase.

    Perhaps VV will get a huge OR rise for GN but you never know what will turn up next April and he might still end up somewhere around the 11st mark.