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2018 Becher Chase tips - Two against the field for Saturday's Aintree feature

Brian Healy 6 Dec 2018
The Grand National fences are in action on Saturday as the Becher Chase goes to post.

Brian Healy picks out his two against the field for Saturday's competitive feature over the Grand National obstacles at Aintree.

Aintree’s big race on Saturday comes in the form of the highly competitive Grade Three Becher Chase which goes to post at 1.30pm as the fourth race of the card, and the 3m 2f contest will unfold over the Grand National fences.

Boasting a first prize of almost £85,000 this classy handicap contest serves as an early trial for the Grand National proper, and both Amberleigh House and Silver Birch have taken this prize enroute to landing the world’s most famous steeplechase.

Winners of the last three renewals of this race in Blaklion, Vieux Lion Rouge and Highland Lodge are all likely to line up again for this contest and chances can be given to all three of those runners; but Brian Healy has overlooked that trio, and he picks out his two against the field for Saturday’s Aintree feature.

Stamina could be an issue over this trip for ULTRAGOLD (12/1, Coral), but Colin Tizzard’s charge boasts a good record over these fences and the Kapgarde gelding can post another big run if seeing out this longer trip.

The dual-Topham Chase winner has also finished runner-up in the Grand Sefton Chase over these fences, and he comes into the race fit from an outing over hurdles at Cheltenham in October where he finished fourth behind Dinons.

He has made the frame twice over three miles in his younger days, so while this longer trip is a slight concern he has shown he possesses stamina although he has yet to go this far. Nevertheless, he looked strong at the finish when making most of the running in the Topham Chase back in April in heavy ground, keeping on well after the last to see off Shanahan’s Turn by four lengths.

The handicapper has taken few chances with him, raising him 7lbs for that win, and this will demand more from the ten-year old; but with a run under his belt and having already shown an affinity for these obstacles then he could be worth chancing that his stamina holds up. 

PRESENT MAN (10/1, William Hill) meanwhile looks an ideal type for this contest, and Paul Nicholls’ charge can go well if taking to these obstacles.

The Presenting gelding has proven himself a prolific winner over fences, winning back-to-back Badger Ales Trophy Chases in each of the last two years.

The eight-year old has proven stamina at this trip, having finished a good third in the Bet365 Gold Cup back in April, and the bold-jumping sort ought to make his presence felt on the back of his latest defeat of Sumkindofking at Wolverhampton.

That rival has run well since at Ludlow, and while this demands another jolt of improvement from a career-high mark he does again have the services of Bryony Frost, and the pair have struck up a good understanding with three wins together from their six starts when combining.

It isn’t hard to see him making a big impact in this contest, and so long as the ground doesn’t become unduly testing then he can go close.

Present Man looks an ideal sort for this test over the Grand National fences.


2018 BECHER CHASE SELECTIONS - TWO AGAINST THE FIELD


ULTRAGOLD (12/1, Coral), PRESENT MAN (10/1, William Hill)


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2018 Becher Chase tips - Two against the field for Saturday's Aintree feature

Brian Healy picks out his two against the field for Saturday's competitive feature over the Grand National obstacles at Aintree.

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