A total of 59 entries have been made for the 2019 Becher Chase at Aintree.
Saturday's Badger Beers Trophy hero Give Me A Copper is amongst 59 entries for this year's Becher Chase at Aintree, which is a key trial for the Grand National at Aintree...
The nine-year-old, who is part-owned by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, showed stamina in abundance when landing a valuable prize at Wincanton over the weekend, and the Grand National now seems to be on his radar.
Still lightly-raced for his age, Give Me A Copper is due to have his first try over the Grand National fences in next month's Becher Chase, which is one of just five races each season which are run over the iconic Grand National fences at Aintree.
There a plenty of options available to him though after his Wincanton success, but Paul Nicholls' assistant Harry Derham has confirmed that Aintree looks likely to be the plan. He said:
"Give Me A Copper has come out of Wincanton in good form, and it was great to see him get his head in front on his first start of the season.
"He has always been a horse we have liked and we were delighted with his performance.
"Paul has indicated that the Becher Chase could now be an intended target, with the Grand National a potential long-term aim."
The race is always a contest to follow with the National in mind later in the season, and we once again can look forward to an excellent spectacle.
A number of familiar names appear alongside Give Me A Copper on the entry list at this stage, with the 2017 Grand National winner One For Arthur and Pleasant Company, who finished second to Tiger Roll in the world's greatest steeplechase in 2018, perhaps the two stand-out horses. Two previous Becher Chase winners, View Lion Rouge (2016) and Walk In The Mill (2018), are both also set to take their chance in one of the strongest renewals in recent memory.
Alongside those names, the Charlie Hall Chase winner Ballyoptic is another eye-catching inclusion on the entry list. The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained horse has shown bundles of stamina in his career, and would appear to be the ideal type for a National, but so far he has failed to complete on two starts over the famous fences in Liverpool.
Former Grade 2 winner Definitly Red is another option for the race this year, with the National seemingly back on his agenda this winter, though it's worth noting that he's won the Many Clouds Chase on the same card for each of the last two seasons. Meanwhile, the Cheltenham Festival winner Le Breuil is another interesting candidate for Aintree next month for trainer Ben Pauling.
The Grand Sefton Handicap Chase entries have also been released, with the race taking place on the same card at Aintree. Among the 39 runners at this stage are two-time Topham winner Ultragold and As De Mee, who is owned by The Stewart Family and actress Dame Judi Dench for trainer Paul Nicholls.
The weights for both races will be released on November 20th, which will give punters a better idea of how the field will shape up, but for the time being it is looking likely to be a thrilling day of sport in the North-West.