We look for Grand National clues again in the Becher Chase

 In Latest News


Friday December 2

We still get a buzz playing the video of West End Rocker‘s Becher Chase victory at Aintree in 2011, and, while the Grand National proved not to be his cup of tea, we hope to rekindle that dream again with either Ziga Boy or Midnight Prayer in tomorrow’s big race on Merseyside.

Turning his eyes towards the dress-rehearsal, Alan said:”This has long been Ziga Boy’s main target. He always needs his first run to blow away the cobwebs, and he’ll definitely have come on for that comeback at Bangor, where he ran well until tiring between the last two.

“He won twice at Doncaster last season and the drying ground will suit him, but he is now higher in the handicap and, though he’s a very good jumper and has never fallen, this will be his first time over the big fences and it remains to be seen whether he will relish the challenge. I think he will but you never know until they try it.

“We also run Midnight Prayer who finished third at Haydock a couple of weeks ago and has come out of that race well. He stays and jumps and deserves his place in the field, too.”

It’s an early start for us as Rosa Damascena makes her debut in the Listed Juvenile Hurdle for fillies, a race in which we can boast two wins and a brace of seconds from just four runnings. Alan added:”I always try and find something for this race, and Rosa Damascena is a French recruit, who was placed on the Flat. She should run well but will definitely improve for the experience.”

Of Kerrow, our only runner over jumps at Chepstow, Alan said:”There are not too many options for him, but he won well over hurdles at Aintree and is ready to make the transition to fences in the novices handicap chase.”

However we also have Kayf Mariner accompanying Kerrow down the M4 for the bumper, and Alan added:”He’s a lovely big Kayf Tara horse who has really come forward since working on the grass these last two weeks. He shows a good attitude and is an smashing prospect for the future, and I am looking forward to getting him started.”

We also send a couple up to Wetherby, and, assessing their chances, Alan said:”Passing Call runs in the junior fillies bumper. She ran very well on her debut at Warwick and has pleased me since, while Minella Charmer is ready to switch to fences in the novice chase up there.”

Finally, we have First Mohican running on the Flat in the £20,000 Class 2 handicap at Wolverhampton tomorrow evening. Alan said:”He is 3lb higher than when winning this race last year, but he seems well and Josie Gordon, this season’s champion apprentice, takes the ride for the first time. He has around four lengths to make up on Winning Story from Kempton but hopefully will again be competitive.”