Randox Health Becher Chase
Grade 3 Handicap,
National Course, Aintree 13:30
£150,000 added, 6yo plus,
3m 1f 188y, Class 1   entries
Saturday 8th December 2018

The 2017 Randox Health Grand National hero One For Arthur (Lucinda Russell) is one of 58 entries for the feature £150,000 Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase over just shy of three and a quarter miles.

One For Arthur

Now a nine-year-old, One For Arthur has not raced since that memorable success for Scotland in April 2017, having sustained a tendon injury when being prepared for the following season in October of that year.

Blaklion was one of the most impressive Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase winners in recent memory when scoring by nine lengths last year. His trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has won the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase six times since its inception in 1992, making him the most successful trainer in the race. The Gloucestershire handler has also entered Ballyoptic, Go Conquer and Calett Mad.

Dr Richard Newland sent out Pineau De Re to win the Randox Health Grand National in 2014 and already has his eye on the 2019 renewal with Abolitionist. Formerly trained in Ireland by Ellmarie Holden, Abolitionist finished third in the 2017 Irish Grand National, not long after which he was purchased privately by Newland.

The 10-year-old made the perfect start for current connections when capturing the Pertemps Network (Supporting BTRC) Handicap Hurdle by 10 lengths at Aintree on November 10.

Worcestershire-based Newland reported: “Abolitionist has come out of his run at Aintree in good form and we were delighted with his victory.

“We bought him 15 months ago and we were trying to target this year’s Randox Health Grand National. He had finished third in an Irish National, but it all went a bit pear-shaped for him last season.

“He had a stress fracture on his pelvis and then when we tried to bring him back, he had another stress fracture on his pelvis. I thought we were nearly finished with him, but we got him sorted and gave him plenty of work and thankfully it has worked out.

“The Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase is the plan for him now. From our point of view, his run at the weekend was a prep for the Becher. Obviously, we hoped he would win it off a low weight so it was a pleasing run.

“He is not that dissimilar to Pineau Du Re. Abolitionist probably has more untold stamina as he seemed to stay the three miles on Saturday at Aintree well, but I guess we don't know far he will get in time.

“They both share a similar zest for racing and are quite keen going sorts. Abolitionist is a better jumper, but perhaps Pineau Du Re had slightly more class in his younger years, highlighted by what he did over shorter distances.

“It was a great start for us from Abolitionist and we are looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Irish handler Gordon Elliott, who captured his second Randox Health Grand National in April with Tiger Roll, accounts for six of the 12 Irish-trained entries. Elliott’s sextet features multiple G1 victor Don Poli, 2018 Irish Grand National victor General Principle and French import Borice.

General Principle
© Caroline Norris
General Principle

The remaining Irish-trained contenders include Crosshue Boy (Sean Doyle), successful in a valuable novices’ handicap chase at Ayr’s Scottish Grand National Festival in April, talented mare Baie Des Iles (Ross O’Sullivan), and the Joseph O’Brien-trained Vieux Morvan.

Ms Parfois is one of two entries for Dorset-based trainer Anthony Honeyball. She was just touched off when second in the G2 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and filled the same position behind Terrefort in the G1 Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree in April. Honeyball has also entered 2017 Ladbrokes Trophy third Regal Encore.

Step Back (Mark Bradstock) made great strides over fences last season and ended the campaign with a 13-length demolition of his rivals in the G3 bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park in April.

Vicente
© Grossick Photography
Vicente

Trainer Paul Nicholls has landed the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase three times, most recently with Mr Pointment in 2007. The Somerset handler’s four entries are led by dual Scottish Grand National victor Vicente and Present Man, successful for the second year in succession in the Listed Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton on November 10.

Ultragold (Colin Tizzard) has bagged the last two renewals of the Randox Health Topham Chase over the Grand National fences, including at odds of 50/1 in 2017. He has yet to race beyond an extended three miles.

Others to note include Captain Redbeard (Stuart Coltherd), a progressive chaser last term who shaped with promise when third on his return over hurdles at Carlisle on November 4, and Listed Future Stars Intermediate Chase second Thomas Patrick (Tom Lacey).

Weights for the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase will be revealed at noon on Wednesday, November 21.

Ladbrokes

Betfred Becher Handicap Chase
(Grade 3) (National Course)
£150,000 added, 6yo plus, 3m 1f 188y, Class 1
58 entries
Five-day confirmations December 3, final declarations December 6. Maximum field of 30 plus two reserves.

Horse
Age
Owner
Trainer
ABOLITIONIST (IRE)
10
M Albon, J A Provan & C E Stedman
Dr Richard Newland  
ALLYSSON MONTERG (FR)
8
David Fox
Richard Hobson  
BAIE DES ILES (FR)
7
Zorka Wentworth
Ross O'Sullivan IRE
BALLYOPTIC (IRE)
8
Mills & Mason Partnership
Nigel Twiston-Davies  
BEWARE THE BEAR (IRE)
8
G B Barlow
Nicky Henderson  
BLAKLION
9
Simon Such & Gino Paletta
Nigel Twiston-Davies  
BLAMEITALONMYROOTS (IRE)
8
Tim Syder
Oliver Sherwood  
BORICE (FR)
7
Simon Munir/Isaac Souede
Gordon Elliott IRE
BRAQUEUR D'OR (FR)
7
Corsellis & Seyfried
Paul Nicholls  
CALETT MAD (FR)
6
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nigel Twiston-Davies  
CALL IT MAGIC (IRE)
8
Zorka Wentworth
Ross O'Sullivan IRE
CAPTAIN CHAOS (IRE)
7
Mike and Eileen Newbould
Dan Skelton  
CAPTAIN REDBEARD (IRE)
9
Stuart Coltherd
Stuart Coltherd  
CHIC NAME (FR)
6
The Boom Syndicate
Richard Hobson  
CROSSHUE BOY (IRE)
8
N J Heffernan
Sean Doyle IRE
DAKLONDIKE (IRE)
6
Prof Caroline Tisdall
David Pipe  
DARE TO ENDEAVOUR
11
Graeme Slesser
Patrick Griffin IRE
DOING FINE (IRE)
10
Ashley Carr & Andy Smith
Neil Mulholland  
DON POLI (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
EXITAS (IRE)
10
P Middleton, M Lowther
Phil Middleton  
FEDERICI
9
M Four Properties Ltd
Donald McCain  
FINE THEATRE (IRE)
8
Kay Browne
Paul Nolan IRE
FINGERONTHESWITCH (IRE)
8
Cahill, Atwell & Crofts
Neil Mulholland  
GENERAL PRINCIPLE (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
GO CONQUER (IRE)
9
Paul & Clare Rooney
Nigel Twiston-Davies  
HIGHLAND LODGE (IRE)
12
Cheveley Park Stud
James Moffatt  
HOGAN'S HEIGHT (IRE)
7
Foxtrot Racing: Hogan's Height
Jamie Snowden  
JUST A PAR (IRE)
11
M Scott
James Moffatt  
KIMBERLITE CANDY (IRE)
6
J P McManus
Tom Lacey  
LOOKING WELL (IRE)
9
David Wesley Yates
Nicky Richards  
LOVELY JOB (IRE)
8
Paul & Clare Rooney
Fergal O'Brien  
MISSED APPROACH (IRE)
8
Alan & Andrew Turner
Warren Greatrex  
MONBEG NOTORIOUS (IRE)
7
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
MORE BUCK'S (IRE)
8
P Duffy, D Semmens, V Williams & M Bowen
Peter Bowen  
MS PARFOIS (IRE)
7
M R Chapman
Anthony Honeyball  
MUSTMEETALADY (IRE)
8
Diane Carr
Jonjo O'Neill  
NOBLE ENDEAVOR (IRE)
9
Chris Jones
Gordon Elliott IRE
ONE FOR ARTHUR (IRE)
9
Two Golf Widows
Lucinda Russell  
OUT SAM
9
D Charlesworth
Gordon Elliott IRE
PICKAMIX
7
Racing Ventures 2014
Charlie Mann  
PRESENT MAN (IRE)
8
Mr & Mrs Mark Woodhouse
Paul Nicholls  
REGAL ENCORE (IRE)
10
J P McManus
Anthony Honeyball  
REGAL FLOW
11
Mrs C J Dunn
Bob Buckler  
ROCK THE KASBAH (IRE)
8
Diana Whateley
Philip Hobbs  
STEP BACK (IRE)
8
Cracker and Smodge Partnership
Mark Bradstock  
THE DUTCHMAN (IRE)
8
SprayClad UK
Colin Tizzard  
THE LAST SAMURI (IRE)
10
Paul & Clare Rooney
Harry Fry  
THE YOUNG MASTER
9
Mike Burbidge & The Old Masters
Neil Mulholland  
THEATRE TERRITORY (IRE)
8
Robert Waley-Cohen
Warren Greatrex  
THOMAS PATRICK (IRE)
6
David Kellett
Tom Lacey  
ULTRAGOLD (FR)
10
Brocade Racing J P Romans Terry Warner
Colin Tizzard  
VICENTE (FR)
9
Trevor Hemmings
Paul Nicholls  
VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR)
9
Prof Caroline Tisdall & John Gent
David Pipe  
VIEUX MORVAN (FR)
9
M L Bloodstock
Joseph O'Brien IRE
VYTA DU ROC (FR)
9
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nicky Henderson  
WALK IN THE MILL (FR)
8
Baroness Harding
Robert Walford  
WARRIORS TALE
9
Trevor Hemmings
Paul Nicholls  
WILD WEST WIND (IRE)
9
Simon W Clarke
Tom George