Past Winners » Beware The Bear


I am taking a chance on Beware The Bear here.  Nicky Henderson’s horse shaped like he might prove to be an out and out stayer earlier in his career, but he was well beaten in the National Hunt Chase two years ago, and he was pulled up in both the Welsh National and the Scottish National last season.   They are his only three forays into extreme distances.

Today’s trip of three and a quarter miles should suit him better.  His record over fences and hurdles over distances from two miles and seven furlongs to three miles and two furlongs reads 11114144.

He ran well to finish fourth behind Coo Star Sivola on Cheltenham’s Old Course over just a furlong short of today’s distance in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last March off a handicap rating of 150, and he ran well on his debut this season to finish fourth in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury off a mark of 148.

The handicapper has dropped him by another 2lb to a mark of 146, and that gives him a chance. 

That run in the Ladbrokes Trophy was his seasonal debut, and it was his first run since a wind operation.  There is every chance that he will progress from it.

We know that he can operate at the track, and good to soft ground suits him well.  Nicky Henderson won this race last year with Vyta Du Roc, and Jerry McGrath knows the horse well.