sport

Big field for Becher Chase

Ante-post favourite On His Own is among 24 horses declared for the Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree on Saturday.

The Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old has been among the leading contenders for the last two renewals of the Grand National over the famous Aintree fences and although he has fallen on both occasions, many punters expect him to make it third time lucky over the shorter trip he encounters this weekend.

Ireland's champion trainer also saddles Vesper Bell, with Henry de Bromhead's cross-country specialist Sizing Australia a third challenger from across the Irish Sea.

Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot winner Junior heads the weights for trainer David Pipe, who is also represented by Swing Bill and Bostons Angel.

The latter was a three-times Grade One winner for trainer Jessica Harrington, but makes his debut for new connections this weekend.

The McCain family are of course synonymous with Aintree and trainer Donald has a major contender in Across The Bay, who navigated the fences when 14th in the Grand National in April.

Other contenders include Paul Nicholls' Join Together, the Alan King-trained Walkon, Tom George's veteran Big Fella Thanks, Nicky Henderson's Roberto Goldback and David Bridgwater's Wyck Hill.