• Racing/
  • Baby on Board for Becher

Betfred Becher Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 2f

  • (6yo+, 3m 2f, Class 1, 22 runners)
  • Winner £84,405 2nd £31,800 3rd £15,915 4th £7,950 5th £3,990 6th £1,995 7th £990 8th £510
  • Going: Soft (Mildmay Good to Soft,Soft in places)
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 6m 56.40s
  • Off time: 14:05:21
Full result
Result 14:05 Aintree
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 18 Chance du Roy 14/1
2nd 15 Baby Run 1 12/1
3rd 22 Mr Moonshine 25/1
4th 24 Ballybough Gorta 33/1
  • Last Updated: December 6 2013, 13:53 GMT

Baby Run bids to make a fairytale comeback from a lengthy lay-off and give trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies a sixth success in the Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree on Saturday.

Baby Run: Bids to defy sizeable absence in Becher Chase
Baby Run: Bids to defy sizeable absence in Becher Chase

Twiston-Davies first lifted this dress rehearsal for the Grand National with Indian Tonic 20 years ago and has since been on the roll of honour with Young Hustler (1995), Earth Summit (1998) and dual winner Hello Bud in 2010 and 2012.

Twiston-Davies also owns Baby Run and is the mount of his son, Sam.

Successful over the famous fences in the Fox Hunters' Chase in April 2011, when ridden by the trainer's other jockey-son, Willy, the 13-year-old has been sidelined since finishing third in the bet365 Gold Cup later that month.

The Naunton handler said: "He had a small leg problem after we ran him on ground that was a bit too fast for him in what was the Whitbread at Sandown.

"He's been in good form and he won the Fox Hunters' round there so it should suit him.

"Hello Bud won it when he was 14 last year so we're not worried about that (age)."

Swing Bill heads David Pipe's three-pronged attack on the three-and-a-quarter-mile test.

The 12-year-old, fourth behind Hello Bud 12 months ago, ran a tremendous race to finish sixth in the Grand National in April.

"Swing Bill has got a great track record and will like the ground. We are giving it a go with Junior, and Bostons Angel is having his first run for us. If he (Bostons Angel) takes to the fences he might enjoy it," said the Nicholashayne trainer.

"We are trying to freshen Bostons Angel up. He has his own ideas about the game nowadays."

Join Together's best performance last season came in this race when he was only beaten a neck by Hello Bud.

The eight-year-old has failed to shine in both his starts so far this term and trainer Paul Nicholls is hoping a return to Aintree will spark a revival in fortunes.

"He ran well in the race last year, obviously, but he was disappointing in France last time," said Nicholls.

"For whatever reason he didn't seem to like the water jump at Auteuil, so we're just hoping he can bounce back on a course we know he likes."

Donald McCain is banking on a pipe-opener behind Tidal Bay in the bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby five weeks ago putting Across The Bay spot-on for another crack at the big fences.

The nine-year-old was 14th of the 17 finishers in the Grand National last season and has shown good form over hurdles and over the Mildmay fences at the Liverpool venue.

"We're happy with him, We had a run round Wetherby with him and we're looking forward to it," said the Cholmondeley trainer.

"Obviously there are not many places you can go. We mixed and matched it a bit last year so we got a run into him.

"He had a good blow and he's going there fresh."

Ikorodu Road has useful form in staying handicap chases but is having his first taste of the unique Aintree obstacles.

However, his trainer Matt Sheppard revealed the 10-year-old has taken to practice fences with aplomb.

He said: "It will be his first time over the National fences, although he did school nicely the other day over the practice National fences at Lambourn.

"He wasn't particularly well handicapped last season and had to run in the better races, but a galloping track like Aintree should suit him."

Wyck Hill has been schooled over Aintree-type fences ahead of tackling the world-famous jumps for the first time.

"He's fine. I'm very excited about the race, but you don't know if they'll take to the place," said his trainer David Bridgwater.

"We've schooled him over the National-type fences at home, so he's done all that and we just hope he likes it."

While Walkon failed to sparkle over the Mildmay fences last time he only found last week's Hennessy hero Triolo D'Alene three-quarters of a length too good in the Topham Chase.

A reproduction of that form should see Alan King's charge run a big race.

"Walkon returns to Aintree for the Becher Chase, having been a bit disappointing on his comeback in the Roan Chase over the Mildmay Course, where they were always going a stride too fast for him on ground that had dried up to almost good," the Barbury Castle trainer told www.alanking.racing.co.uk.

"He was second over the big fences in the Topham, and the form is smart with the winner, Triolo d'Alene having gone on to win the Hennessy last week so, hopefully, Walkon will take to the challenge as well as he did back in April."

Big Fella Thanks was third in this race last year and this Aintree regular is making his seventh appearance at this course.

"He was only beaten two lengths in it last year and this has been target all season," said trainer Tom George.

"I think he'll get the ground he likes, good to soft, and the old boy is in good form."

George has also had this race in mind for some time for Chartreux.

"He ran in the Kerry National but it wasn't really his race. It wasn't enough of a test of stamina for him. When they quickened up he got caught out a bit," said the Slad trainer.

"This will be more his scene and it has been his target as well for a long time. I'm hoping for a good run if he takes to it.

"You never know until you try, but he seems to have the right profile for Aintree."

Peter Bowen's runners at Aintree must always be respected, as illustrated by the hat-trick of Topham successes recorded by Always Waining.

The Haverfordwest trainer tries to win this race for the first time with Gullible Gordon, who was sixth in 2012, and Ballybough Gorta.

"Gullible Gordon ran well in the Becher last year. He had an entry in the other race (Grand Sefton) but we decided to go for this again," he told At The Races.

"He was a bit unlucky in the cross-country race at Cheltenham. He just got unsighted and got knocked over.

"He came out of it fine. We've schooled him since and he's been great. As long as the ground stays dry he should run well.

"It will be Ballybough Gorta's first time there but he's won seven chases. You never know until you try them over these fences - hopefully he'll take to them.

"He tries hard and he stays well. If he does take to the fences he'll run well. I think he will. He seems to have plenty of scope and he jumps well, so there's no reason why he shouldn't."


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