5 things you didn’t know about the Aintree Becher Chase

December 6th, 2013

The Becher Chase is a Grade Three National Hunt chase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run at Aintree over a distance of about 3 miles and 2 furlongs.

We have a fond affinity with this race at Proform Towers, in backing the 2004 winner of the Becher Silver Birch and his subsequent wins of the Welsh and Aintree Grand Nationals. The winnings have been long spent so let’s see if we can utilise the power of Proform Professional to keep us out of the poor house.  

1. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

As a population Irish bred Horses are the largest and therefore simple logic indicates the probability of an Irish bred horse being the winner of a race is higher.

In the Becher Chase over the years 16 years there have been 12 Irish bred winners (from a population of 138). However when you apply the so called value statistic “Actual over Expected” A/E index this is a 20% better than expected performance.

Qualifiers: Across The Bay, Ballybough Gorta, Bennys Mist, Bostons Angel, Gullible Gordon, Join Together, Mr Moonshine, On His Own, Roberto Goldback, Rose Of The Moon, Sizing Australia, Storm Survivor, Vesper Bell, Wyck Hill  

2. Heavy Weights

3 miles and 2 furlongs is a long way! Especially when lugging lead weights on your back and a jockey for added measure while jumping over the fearsome Aintree fences.

But when crunching the numbers our boffins determined that top weight and 2nd top weight won 6 races from a total population of 39 horses a 23% and 96% better than expected performance respectively.

In layman’s terms, class is a significant factor in this race.

Qualifiers: Junior, Walkon

3. Way Ahead of the Pack.

From a total population of 102 runners, those that ran “Prominently” or “Led” won 13 times. A 27% and 169% better than expected performance respectively.

Again in layman’s terms, when reviewing the running traits of each entrant in the Becher, we are looking for a horse that can get out in front and stay there!

Qualifiers: Baby Run, Across The Bay, On His Own, Rose Of The Moon, Ballybough Gorta, Sizing Australia, Bostons Angel, Bennys Mist, Planet of Sound, Chartreux .

4. Back from a Break

Horses returning from a 150 day plus break have won 6 times from a population of 63 runners. A 33% better than expected performance. Although those returning from a long absence don’t have it all their own way. Horses that ran within 15 and 21 days since last run won 5 times from a population of 37 runners a 52% better than expected performance.

Qualifiers: (150+ DSLR) Baby Run, Junior, Swing Bill, Planet of Sound, Chance du Roy, Bostons Angel, Rose Of The Moon, Vesper Bell (15 – 21 DSLR) Sizing Australia, Pineau De Re, Ballybough Gorta  

5. Twiston-Nicholls

No, this is not the name of a new trainer, but the combined efforts of Nigel Twiston-Davies and Paul Nicholls have won this race 6 times from a population of 37 runners a 95% and 75% better than expected performance respectively.

Qualifiers: Join Together, Baby Run  

Conclusion: A 24 runner field is not our idea of fun, however a judicious use of statistics narrowed the field down to Bostons Angel, Rose Of The Moon and Vesper Bell. In a competitive race we’ll stick our necks out in the selection of Vesper Bell each-way for one of the 5 placed positions and possibly the win.