Seabass could be making a return to Aintree for either the Becher Chase or the Grand Sefton Chase, according to trainer Ted Walsh when he spoke to At The Races recently.
The 10-year-old chaser, who finished in third place in the 2012 Grand National and 13th in the 2013 renewal, is set to have his first run of the season at Aintree on December 7.
Walsh said “He could go back to Aintree on December 7. There are two races there, the Becher and the Grand Sefton.
“He might go in the Sefton over two-miles-five there in Liverpool. There are not a lot of opportunities for him here.
“He’s a 154 or 155-rated horse. He’d be top weight in a handicap, but not good enough for a Grade Two or Grade Three so he might go back to Liverpool. It’s a valuable pot.”
It is indeed a valuable pot with last year’s winner, Hello Bud, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, taking home first prize of £61,950. At 14 years of age, he was the oldest horses to have won the race in over 20 years.
It has also been confirmed by trainer David Bridgwater that nine-year-old Wyck Hill has also been given and entry in the Becher Chase.
Wyck Hill, owned by JP McManus, was considered a serious for the National before suffering an injury in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton which ruled him out of Aintree.
He returned to Punchestown on April 27 2013 and ran a credible race, finishing in third place before being rested for the summer. He made his seasonal return at Ascot earlier this month and despite finishing in ninth place, pleased Bridgwater who said of his efforts “I wasn’t disappointed at all with his run at Ascot. It was fine.”
Wyck Hill also holds an entry into the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on November 30, but Bridgwater stated “He’s good and we’ve just given him an entry in the Becher Chase this morning. I don’t think I’ll be getting much sleep the night before, but we’ll see how he gets on over those fences over three and a quarter miles.
“I think it will probably be the Becher rather than the Hennessy. ”
The Betfred Becher Handicap Chase is a Grade 3, Class 1 race over a distance of 3m2f and is run over 21 Grand National fences so serves as an early-season trial for that event. Two past winners, Amberleigh House and Silver Birch, have gone on to win the Grand National in 2004 and 2007 respectively.