Becher Chase betting tips: Ballyoptic makes plenty of appeal at Aintree

The 2018 Becher Chase betting tips given by Horsebetting.com experts say Ballyoptic is worth a bet to land the spoils in the 3m 2f contest over the Grand National fences at Aintree on Saturday, 8 December. His Nigel Twiston-Davies stable companion and last year’s winner Blaklion is a class act, so is feared most. Ultragold, meanwhile, has a superb record at the Merseyside venue and on the unique course, so appeals each-way in a competitive renewal. Read our in-depth 2018 Becher Chase betting tips preview below for more details on these horses’ chances.

Unibet logo
Odds
6/1
Selection
Ballyopitc
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William Hill logo
Odds
4/1
Danger
Blaklion
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Ladbrokes logo
Odds
12/1
E/W
Ultragold
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Ballyoptic the Becher Chase bet

Ballyoptic looks nicely treated on the pick of his form and worth a bet to land the spoils in the 3m 2f Becher Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree on Saturday (13:30). This Nigel Twiston-Davies trained eight-year-old has won two of his six starts over fences, but also posted some very solid efforts in defeat.

The son of Old Vic was a Grade 1 winning hurdler, rated 162 at his peak, and slammed Elegant Escape by 13 lengths on chasing debut at Exeter. The runner-up, whom he met on level weights, has won three times since, finished third in two Grade 1s, and a cracking second of 12 to Sizing Tennessee in last weekend’s valuable Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury off a rating of 155.

Ballyoptic also showed a good attitude to beat Vintage Clouds by 2 3/4 lengths in a Grade 2 contest at Wetherby, and was far from disgraced when fourth to Presenting Percy in the Grade 1 RSA at the Cheltenham Festival back in March.

Cracking run at Ayr

He went on to round off the campaign with fine short-head second of 29 to Joe Farrell on handicap debut on the Scottish Grand National at Ayr off an opening mark of 148. After being held-up travelling well, Ballyoptic made smooth progress to get in a challenging position three from home before staying on powerfully after the last to be gaining all the way to the line.

It was a terrific run by a novice, and one which suggested Ballyoptic needed keeping firmly onside. Although raised 6lb for that, a revised rating of 155 could still underestimate his ability – judged on his aforementioned success over Elegant Escape.

Ballyoptic has a real touch of class about him, remains open to further progress over fences, and hails from a yard which has won three of the last eight runnings of this race. So, taking everything into account, he looks to have the perfect profile for this and thus rates the main selection in our 2018 Becher Chase betting tips.

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Defending champ Blaklion feared most

Twiston-Davies also saddles last year’s winner Blaklion. This nine-year-old is a class act who looks sure to make a bold bid to retain his crown, so is feared most in an ultra-competitive renewal where 18 are set to go to post.

The gelding enjoyed a terrific first season over fences when winning three times, including the Grade 1 RSA Chase at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival where he showed tremendous battling qualities to beat Shaneshill by half-a-length. Although Blakion failed to get his head in front in five starts the following season, he posted some really solid efforts in defeat.

They included when a fifth of 19 to Native River in the Hennessy at Newbury and an excellent fourth of 40 to One For Arthur in the Grand National at this venue, where he looked all over the winner turning for home until weakening late on to be beaten 8 3/4 lengths.

A ready winner last yeat

Blaklion also ran a blinder when a half-length runner-up to top class stable companion Bristol De Mai in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on seasonal reappearance last year, before romping to a nine-length success over The Last Samuri in this off a mark of 153.

The son of Kayf Tara got put up to 161 for that taking display, but failed to live up to expectations in three subsequent outings. However, he now returns to action off a reduced rating of 158 as a result and that gives him a big shout from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form.

Blaklion also has underfoot conditions to suit, so everything looks in place for a big run and he looks sure to give his stable companion Ballyoptic plenty to think about. Given his decent record over the National fences, we had to include him in these 2018 Becher Chase betting tips.

Ultragold appeals each-way given track record

Ultragold is another with a terrific record at the track; so, in a race where many bookmakers will be offering enhanced place terms, he makes plenty of each-way appeal. The Colin Tizzard trained 10-year-old has won twice and been placed once in three starts at the Merseyside venue over this unique course.

Those successes have come in the last two renewals of the 2m 5f Topham Chase. After gamely bearing Katnap by a length in 2017 off a mark of 136, the son of Kapgarde retained his crown off 5lb higher 12 months later when staying on strongly to get the better of Shanahan’s Turn by 3 3/4 lengths.

Ultragold also ran well on this card 12 months ago when a keeping on 4 1/2 lengths second of 12 to Gas Line Boy in the Grand Sefton – over the Topham trip – off the same rating of 141. Although now having to race off a career-high chase mark of 148, Ultragold clearly comes alive at the venue, so it may well not prove beyond him at his favourite stomping ground.

He also comes into this on the back of a spin over hurdles at Cheltenham last month when finishing fourth. That should have blown away the cobwebs and put him spot on for this.

The one question mark is that this is his first crack at 3m 1f but, judged on his breeding, it should be within his compass. So, at the odds on offer, Ultragold looks to have plenty going for him and is thus the each-way punt completing our 2018 Becher Chase betting tips.

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