Becher Handicap Runner by Runner Guide

1. DON POLI

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Jack Kennedy

Handicapper very much on top of this veteran nowadays, who placed in a Cheltenham Gold Cup back in 2016. Big ask having been off the track for 18 months.

2. BLAKLION

Trainer - Nigel Twiston-Davies

Jockey - Sam Twiston-Davies

Only letters not numbers in his recent form showings, but did win this contest last season on heavy ground so cannot be discounted. Looking to continue trainers' excellent record in this contest.

3. BALLYOPTIC

Trainer - Nigel Twiston-Davies

Jockey - Tom Bellamy

Another runner for NTD, Ballyoptic seems to have been around for a lifetime, but has only ever raced six times over fences. Rapid improver, after his good second in Scottish Grand National when last seen. Good chances.

4. NOBLES ENDEAVOUR

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Keith Donoghue

Another off for eighteen months, and was last seen in Britain when finishing third in last year's Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Lots to find, and long absence a concern.

5. PRESENT MAN

Trainer - Paul Nicholls

Jockey - Bryony Frost

A real gutsy winner at Wincanton in a listed contest last time out, and was staying on when crossing the line. First attempt at Aintree, and first attempt over the National fences. Claims.

6. ULTRAGOLD

Trainer - Colin Tizzard

Jockey - Tom O'Brien

Course winner in the Grade 3 Topham earlier this year, surprised all when returning over hurdles at Cheltenham two months ago, when only managing fourth albeit to a top rival. Has been well backed.

7. MISSED APPROACH

Trainer - Warren Greatrex

Jockey - Sam Waley-Cohen

Loves these sort of contests, and won the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year on soft. Jockey takes off three valuable pounds.

8. VIEUX LION ROUGE

Trainer - David Pipe

Jockey - Tom Scudamore

Won this himself two years ago, and was unfortunate in the National the following season having been badly hampered. Mixed form since then, and no win in 18 months.

9. JUST A PAR

Trainer - James Moffatt

Jockey - Sean Quinlan

Very much an old boy now and is struggling in the harder contests. Last seen at Aintree finishing 14th behind One For Arthur in the 2017 National, who also returns this weekend over the regular fences.

10. CROSSHUE BOY

Trainer - Sean Thomas Doyle

Jockey - David Mullins

Well beaten on most recent start at Galway, but ignoring that disappointment, he won a valuable Novices Championship Handicap back in April, beating Dingo Dollar who boosted the form finishing third in last weekend's Ladbrokes Trophy.

11. REGAL FLOW

Trainer - Bob Buckler

Jockey - James Bowen

Chopping and changing between hurdles and fences, and connections do not really seem sure which direction this horse is heading. Best to watch this one.

12. WALK IN THE MILL

Trainer - Robert Walford

Jockey - James Best

Third to the Young Master at Cheltenham last month, stayed on up the run-in but was ultimately too late.. Will come on for the run, and holds strong each way claims against the favourites. Does not want too much rain.

13. CALL IT MAGIC

Trainer - Ross O'Sullivan

Jockey - Mark Enright

Irish raider who was some way behind Kerry National winner Snow Falcon, and work to do on that basis. No win over fences for over a year, and had a short spell hurdling with is not ideal.

14. HIGHLAND LODGE

Trainer - James Moffatt

Jockey - Henry Brooke

Off for almost a year, and was last seen pulling up in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase, but was a good third year twelve months ago. Also has been purchased by Cheveley Park which certainly catches the eye.

15. FINE THEATRE

Trainer - Paul Nolan

Jockey -

Unfortunate to be brought down at the fifth flight in the Irish Grand National, and hard to make anything of that run being the only time he has run over three miles and a furlong. Unknown quantity and others preferred.

16. MUSTMEETALADY

Trainer - Jonjo O'Neill

Jockey - Richie McLernon

Some woeful runs of late, finishing a combination of 68 lengths behind subsequent winners in last two runs. Would need all the horses in front of him to fall to stand any chance.

17. FEDERICI

Trainer - Donald McCain

Jockey - Brian Hughes

Again, another with not too much to like, and was well beaten off before pulling up in the Cross Country Chase at the Festival. May well need this run.

18. DARE TO ENDEAVOUR

Trainer - Patrick Griffin

Jockey -

At the foot of the weights, he has responded this season by finishing races instead of falling or pulling up. He has changed hands a few times, and has not won a race, since this writer's 18th birthday - and believe me that's some time ago now.

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