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How the 2018 Becher Chase Has Affected 2019 Grand National Betting

How the 2018 Becher Chase Has Affected 2019 Grand National Betting

The Becher Chase is regarded as a key Grand National trial for the UK’s most valuable and the world’s most famous steeplechase.

It’s run on the same racecourse at Aintree (near Liverpool) and takes place over the same unique spruce-covered fences. The only difference is the distance; the Becher is just over a mile shorter than the Grand National, but it still throws up horses to follow on route to the big one.

Here is what this year’s Becher Chase result has done to the 2019 Grand National betting:

Walk In The Mill emerges as contender

Dorset trainer Robert Walford has a pretty modest operation compared to some of the leading stables in England, but Walk In The Mill sneaked in to the Becher off a light racing weight and won it. After racing in mid-division under jockey James Best, the 8-year-old was driven four out and then made good headway on the outside into second.

Walk In The Mill then came under a ride from the last, led approaching the elbow and forged clear for a 4 1/2 lengths victory. An 8lb rise in his official BHA rating as a result means he’s been given every chance by the handicapper of getting into the Grand National off 145.

That mark would’ve been enough to see Walk In The Mill line-up in any of the last five renewals, so he’s thus a 33/1 shot with Ladbrokes.

Wind op may have unlocked Vieux Lion Rouge

David Pipe has an experienced Grand National horse shaping as though back to his best in Vieux Lion Rouge. He’s still only a nine-year-old, but has already had six runs over the fences and was a closing at the finish runner-up in the Becher this year.

With form figures on the course that read 297617, Vieux Lion Rouge always plugs on and completes. A wind operation to improve his breathing since his last try at the Grand National means there’s been some market support and he’s also into 33/1 with 888Sport.

Ultragold also has strong course record

If course form is what you look form in a horse to maximise your bets on Grand National, then Ultragold has never finished outside the first three in four course starts. This Colin Tizzard trained 10-year-old has won the last two renewals of the Topham Chase over an extended two-and-a-half miles.

Whether Ultragold can conquer the ultimate test of stamina that is the Grand National remains to be seen, but he was only beaten six lengths into third in the Becher on his first outing over that distance. He was keeping on well up the Aintree run-in, so is now a top-price 40/1 chance with Paddy Power for the April showpiece.

More to come from Missed Approach

Further down the Becher field in sixth was Missed Approach – a horse who has already proven his stamina with some solid races over marathon trips. The Warren Greatrex trained eight-year-old has largely relished endurance tests, chasing home 2018 Grand National hero Tiger Roll in the 2017 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham over four miles.

Missed Approach also occupied the same spot in the Edinburgh National in February when giving lumps of weight away to Full Jack. He also came out and won the Kim Muir Challenge Cup for amateur riders at this year’s Cheltenham Festival and got hampered four out in the Becher.

The further the better for Missed Approach, and his Grand National odds of 50/1 with William Hill are well worth considering after just one try at the fences and he’ll have learned plenty.

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