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Becher Chase  

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West End Rocker Rocks Up in Becher Chase

1 West End Rocker 10/1
2 Niche Market 9/1
3 Ballyvesey 20/1
NR: Mad Max (IRE)
14 ran Distances: 22l, 32l, 1¼l
TIME 7m 15.60s (slow by 37.60s)

West End Rocker made it second-time lucky over the famous Grand National fences with a determined performance in the Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree.

West End Rocker
© Grossick Racing Photography

West End Rocker

Alan King's nine-year-old was brought down at just the sixth fence in the National itself back in April, but he suffered no such back luck on his return to Merseyside.

The 10-1 chance had something to prove after being pulled up on his recent seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham but jumped accurately throughout under Wayne Hutchinson and was in the lead at the fence before turning for home, galloping on relentlessly in the mud to beat Niche Market by 22 lengths.

Ballyvesey came from a long way back to finish third, while last year's winner Hello Bud parted company with Sam Twiston-Davies at the Canal Turn.

Wayne Hutchinson, completing a double on the day, said: “I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it. What a ride he was!

“I schooled him on Thursday morning upsides Walkon and he was quicker than him - Choc (Thornton) pulled up at the top and said ‘you lucky sod!’

“This horse has been fantastic to me. I won a handicap chase on him at Newbury and then the totesport Classic at Warwick last year.

“The key to him is that he has to find his gear - he jumps from fence to fence and he wants these big, galloping tracks. Forget the last day at Cheltenham - the undulations didn’t suit him.

“The ground is certainly heavy up round by the Canal Turn - it’s soft and heavy in places. My lad was foot-perfect and he thoroughly enjoyed himself out there.

“The fences have ridden lovely and we will certainly be back for the big one in April.

“West End Rocker got into this wonderful rhythm and he was jumping super. He has handled the ground very well.

“The big thing is find the rhythm that he is happy with.”


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
West End Rocker
A King
W Hutchinson
10st 10lbs
10 - 1
Niche Market
P F Nicholls
Harry Skelton
11st 5lbs
9 - 1
22 lengths
P Bowen
B Hughes
10st 0lbs
20 - 1
32 lengths
Always Waining
P Bowen
T J O'Brien
10st 13lbs
12 - 1
1 1/4 length
Rare Bob
D T Hughes
P J Brennan
11st 10lbs
17 - 2
3 3/4 lengths
Another Palm
N Meade
P Carberry
10st 0lbs
5 - 1
1 1/2 length
Swing Bill
D Pipe
T J Murphy
11st 0lbs
15 - 2
Merchent Paddy
C Byrnes
P T Enright
10st 9lbs
33 - 1
Hello Bud
N A Twiston-Davies
S Twiston-Davies
10st 9lbs
9 - 1
Nicto De Beauchene
V R A Dartnall
A Glassonbury
10st 7lbs
8 - 1
N G Richards
Aidan Coleman
10st 7lbs
12 - 1
Max Bygraves
K C Bailey
J M Maguire
10st 6lbs
16 - 1
Shalimar Fromentro
Nick Williams
J Reveley
10st 3lbs
8 - 1
Pak Jack
R T Phillips
Matthew Batchelor
10st 0lbs
33 - 1
Mad Max
N P Mulholland
R McGrath
11st 12lbs

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