1 (1) Vic Venturi 7/1
Trainer Dessie Hughes obviously likes the totesport.com Becher Chase. Black Apalachi landed the three and quarter mile handicap over the Grand National fences for the Irish trainer 12 months ago and this year it was Vic Venturi who took the spoils in the £100,000 Listed event.
Dessie Hughes said: “I am very pleased.
“He had to carry top weight today but he stays very well.
“Paddy has given him a brilliant ride and the horse got the trip really well.
“He got into a bit of trouble at the third fence but was fine after that. His jumping was very safe.
“You would have to say after that race that he would be on target for the Grand National. He could go for the Bobbyjo Chase next and then go over hurdles after Christmas.
“With Black Apalachi, we could have two contenders for the National this year. It’s just a pity there will be 38 others runners!
“Black Apalachi is in great form and will be ready to run soon. He is likely to start off over hurdles.”
Paddy Flood added: “He is a horse with plenty of class. The main issue before the race was whether he would jump round but he’s taken to these fences like a duck to water.
“There wasn’t really much riding involved for me today - I just had to steer and push him along.
“There is no other course like this to ride round. When you get a horse in a rhythm over these fences, there is nothing like it.
“He will be a National horse - he’s a little bit small but has plenty of class and jumps like a buck.
“I didn’t want to get there too soon. He really was an absolute dream today.”
Reaction among bookmakers as to Vic Venturi’s chance in the 2010 John Smith’s Grand National was variable. totesport go 16/1 while Paddy Power offer 20/1. Both Ladbrokes and William Hill offer more generous odds, quoting 25/1 about Vic Venturi for the 2010 Aintree spectacular.
Ian Williams, trainer of the toteposrt.com Becher Chase five-length runner-up Keenan’s Future, was delighted with the performance of the eight-year-old.
He said: “It was a huge run. He has jumped like a stag and travelled well.
“He would not have appreciated the ground as soft as it is. Now it is a question of whether we can get him up high enough in the handicap to get a run in the Grand National.
“He would make a lovely National horse. It is a question of whether he is quite good enough. He will go up a few pounds for this run and then we have to get him up another 7lb or 8lb. Whether that is feasible, I don’t know. We will try very hard as he has loved it out there today.
“Jason Maguire has given him a very good ride and Keenan’s Future has given Jason Maguire a lovely spin around.”
Jason Maguire, on the five-length second Keenan’s Future, said: ”I was delighted with him - he jumped super. The ground has obviously taken a lot of getting and we did hack around for three quarters of the way. When we jumped the canal turn we all started to pick up from there. He just got a little tired at the end.”
Denis O’Regan, partner of Royal Rosa, the third in the totesport.com Beecher Chase, reflected after the race: “We had a great run and he jumped superb. I rode him to be placed and we were. We will see what the handicapper does to him.”
Tom Siddall, jockey of fourth placed Palypso Creek, said: “He’s run a cracker to be fair, but we’ve probably ended up handier than we wanted to be. We’ve only hacked round. The ground might have found us out a little as it was very soft but lovely proper jumping ground.”
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