Betting: The Becher Chase looks like one for Arthur and Gordon

Bill Esdaile
Follow Bill
Cheltenham Festival - Ladies Day
Un De Sceaux runs in the Tingle Creek at Sandown tomorrow (Source: Getty)

For most racing fans there is no finer sight than seeing the best two mile chasers zip round Sandown Park’s tough and examining course.

Sire De Grugy bids to make history in tomorrow’s Tingle Creek (3.00pm) by becoming only the second horse to win this great race three times.

He seemed back to his very best at Ascot last time, but the lack of recent rain is a worry as his best form is with some cut in the ground.

Betway ambassador Gary Moore has another powerful string to his bow in the shape of trailblazer Ar Mad.

The six-year-old has won his last four and is two from two at Sandown, but he’s pitched into Grade One company on his first start out of novice company.

Un De Sceaux is too short at 6/4 with Betway considering he prefers soft ground and was put in his place by Sprinter Sacre twice at the back-end of last season.

Perhaps God’s Own is the one seeing as he’ll get the decent ground he craves, although his two runs at Sandown have been disappointing.

I’m happy to leave the race alone from a betting perspective and will head up to Aintree instead.

Races over the Grand National fences are always hugely exciting and we have two cracking contests to get stuck into tomorrow.

A total of 24 runners will go to post for the Becher Chase (1.35pm) and it is no surprise that the bookmakers are going 10/1 the field. This is a mini-Grand National.

In recent years older horses have held sway in this 3m2f stamina test, but the ground is set to be much quicker than normal which might give the younger, more progressive chasers a better chance.

Gordon Elliott had a Sunday to remember at Navan, notching an incredible six-timer, and he holds strong claims in this with UCELLO CONTI.

Although the eight-year-old has yet to win for Elliott, he’s run some fantastic races in defeat, including sixth in this year’s Grand National.

He had a pipe-opener over hurdles last month, which should have put him spot on for this, and in-form jockey Daryl Jacob takes the ride. I can see him going off shorter than the current 10/1.

My other selection is Lucinda Russell’s ONE FOR ARTHUR, who was very impressive at Kelso last month and is racing off a lovely weight in this.

Jumping is key in this race and he’s an excellent jumper, while I’m convinced he is significantly better than his mark of 137. He’s a fair each-way price at 16/1.

Final declarations will be made for the Grand Sefton (3.15pm) this morning, so we’re feeling in the dark slightly.

Last year’s winner Bennys Mist is always to be feared over these fences, but I’m going to take a chance on SEEFOOD to cap a great day for Jacob, at 9/1 with Betway.

He won well at Musselburgh last time and his having only his fifth start for the in-form Dr Richard Newland team.

Many Clouds and Minella Rocco head the market in the 3m1f Listed chase (2.40pm), but at the prices I’m going to take them on with LE MERCUREY, who is 8/1 with Betway.

Paul Nicholls’ inmate seems to be better on flat tracks and he wasn’t far behind Minella Rocco in the Reynoldstown at Ascot last February.


Ucello Conti e/w 1.35pm Aintree

One For Arthur e/w 1.35pm Aintree

Le Mercurey e/w 2.40pm Aintree

Seefood e/w 3.15pm Aintree

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

Related articles