Becher Handicap Chase Betting Tips

Becher Handicap Chase Betting Tips

The weather appears to be back to normal now, so we should have no trouble getting the race on.

There has been some criticism of the scheduling however, with several staying chases put on over the same weekend including the Borders National at Kelso and the Welsh Grand National Trial at Chepstow.

Competition is tough then and we have 14 runners remaining for the Becher Chase. This is run over 3 miles, 1 furlong and 188 yards. With £150,000 in prize money, this is the big betting race of the weekend despite the Grade 1 action elsewhere which includes the Tingle Creek and the rearranged Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

This field is tasked with taking on 21 fences of the Grand National Course. Recent Becher winners including Blaklion, Walk In The Mill, Snow Leopardess and Ashtown Lad were all subsequently well touted for the National itself in April. The likes of Silver Birch, Amberleigh House and Earth Summit in fact won this in the past.

Staying it seems therefore is key. Very few winners have carried big weights. In the last 15 renewals, ten winners carried 10st 9lbs or less.

We’re always looking for improvers, though those with good life experience can land these big staying handicaps. 11 of the last 15 winners were aged 9 or above, four of them in fact had double-figure ages. Eight-year-olds have done well recently, but anything younger may just struggle in this tough environment.

Main Contenders

Ashtown Lad

Last year’s winner is bang in with a chance once more and in fact could go off favourite.

Ashtown Lad won the race in good style last year and clearly likes Aintree, so as a recent Becher winner carrying only 2lbs extra he simply has to enter calculations.

The main drawback is his recent form. Going into the race twelve months ago this horse had finished third in a hurdle race used as his warm-up and the previous April he’d run very well in the Scottish Grand National. He was pulled up in April and did the same on his seasonal reappearance last month so now has questions to answer.

Celebre D’Allen

Philip Hobbs and Johnson White are represented with Celebre D’Allen, a recent Aintree winner in the Veterans’ series.

An 11-year-old now, his best days are no longer ahead of him on the track but that’s not to say he doesn’t have the form to get involved here and in fact we think he does. An each-way play perhaps.

Highland Hunter

Trainer Fergal O’Brien’s strength within the jumps game seems to be mirroring his popularity off the track. That is to say it’s growing all the time and it won’t be long before he’s a regular winner of major Saturday races.

His Highland Hunter is the ideal type for this race. An experienced 10-year-old, he has been around the block but seems to be maintaining his best form right now.

When trained by Paul Nicholls, Highland Hunter was second in the Welsh Grand National of 2021. He ran once more before spending a year and a half off the track.

His recent second at Kelso was a very encouraging return and he looks primed to run a massive race under Paddy Brennan.


Having raced 15 times over fences we’ve seen plenty of Percussion and it has led to him collecting the sort of experience needed to win this race. The beauty with him though is that he is definitely still improving with a career best somewhere around the corner.

If that best comes on Saturday, he may be hard to beat. Percussion has been placed in two Sefton Handicaps over these fences, so we know he’ll handle things just fine, while his style of running suggests that this extra distance will also be right up his street.

He is well handicapped at present which is a crucial factor, giving him the perfect opportunity.

Sidi Ismael 

David Pipe’s runner has won two of his 8 chase races and can land a few more yet. He improved throughout last year without adding to his tally, but wasn’t so great on his reappearance in November. Assuming all is well, he is another who can put up a good showing.

The Big Breakaway 

One chase win in 13 isn’t the greatest race record for The Big Breakaway, but he is yet another horse with a better chance than his odds would suggest. Fifth at Wincanton in the Badger Beer last time, he’ll be very fit and ready to go.


Fergal O’Brien’s Highland Hunter is one to watch, but PERCUSSION looks the one to be on given all the evidence at hand. 

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