Big Fella ready for Becher

  • Last Updated: December 4 2012, 16:50 GMT

Tom George is looking forward to running Big Fella Thanks in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree on Saturday.

Big Fella Thanks: Interesting runner for Tom George

The 10-year-old has completed the course in three John Smith's Grand Nationals with a best position of fourth in 2010 when he was trained by Paul Nicholls.

Big Fella Thanks had his first run since joining George's Slad stable at Aintree over the Mildmay fences, but he unseated Paddy Brennan at the eighth.

"The plan has been for Big Fella Thanks to run in the Becher Chase since he came back into training," said George.

"He had a run round the other day. It didn't quite go to plan, but he gave himself a good blow and he's none the worse for it.

"I'm looking forward to it and he's had a good preparation."

George and owners Crossed Fingers Partnership have a second Becher entry in Desperate Dex.

The 12-year-old, who has won both his starts this season at Wincanton and Chepstow, is set to bypass Aintree and run instead at Exeter on Friday.

"We've just given him an entry in case Exeter on Friday is off," said George.

"He's owned by the same people as Big Fella Thanks and they are coming over from abroad. He's more likely to run at Exeter."


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(reopens) Vale of Glamorgan trainer Tim Vaughan could also run two-times Aintree winner Saint Are, who fell at the fifth fence of the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday.

Vaughan said: "Saint Are has come out of the Hennessy absolutely fine.

"We are going to school him on Wednesday morning and Thursday morning to see how he jumps and, if that goes well, we will definitely give the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase serious consideration.

"It was very frustrating on Saturday because everything had gone really well in the build-up to the Hennessy and we were anticipating a big run from him."