No Planning A Big Price To Dominate Doncaster
Sky Bet Chase
Punters have an opportunity of bagging a big-priced winner at Doncaster on Saturday, courtesy of the Sky Bet Chase over 3m (3.15pm), in which is currently 8/1 the field.
Nicholls Up For The Chase
To say this year’s renewal is wide-open is an understatement, but with trainer, Paul Nicholls, the only man to send out the winner of this race twice since 2003, his Le Mercurey (8/1), has proven popular. A Grade 2 novice winner last month, it’s possible the race at Cheltenham came too soon 14 days later, and he could bounce back on Saturday upped to 3m.
Le Mercurey has certainly been given a nice weight off 10st9lb judged on the recent history of the event…
Sky Bet Chase Trends
Of the last nine winners (only nine renewals since 2003)…
8 were 7-9yo’s
8 had 3 handicap chase wins or fewer
8 were officially rated 139 or lower
7 carried 11st2lb or lighter
7 were non-winners last time out
6 arrived via Cheltenham or Chepstow
P Nicholls won it twice
The Boy Likes Donny
Another with a juicy low weight is Alan King’s Ziga Boy (8/1), who knows what it takes to win a race like this, having triumphed over C&D over Christmas (good to soft). While Saturday represents a rise in class from a 15lb higher mark, he is expected to be thereabouts.
Speedy Logue Has Cool Weight
Also at the right end of the handicap is Charlie Longsdon’s Coologue (11/1), a talented front-runner, who was runner-up in a Grade 2 over C&D last month (heavy). He bumped into a good horse that day, but a repeat of that would see him challenging, and he’ll like the better ground.
Another who will like the decent ground is Emma Lavelle’s 10yo, Gullinbursti, who was the subject of midweek money and is now 14/1. He should improve for his return at Ascot last month, and is back down to his last winning mark (also 10lb lower than when pulled up in this last year on soft).
Smith Planning To Land Prize?
A similar story can be told about Sue Smith’s 9yo, No Planning (16/1), who is down to his last winning chase mark (in 2014).
He’ll enjoy getting away from the soft ground he’s faced on all three outings this term.
There are some familiar names in the top half of the weights, such as Holywell (8/1), who has top weight, and Buywise (8/1), who looks in the handicapper’s grip, while Aachen (12/1) won a similar race over C&D 11 months ago but is another who’ll need improvement off 11st4lb.
The same comments apply to Irish Cavalier (12/1), who is 17lb higher than when winning a handicap at the Cheltenham Festival 10 months ago (2m4f).
The forecast good to soft ground will be a factor, and will suit No Planning, who has dropped to a winning mark, stays the distance and comes from a yard in decent form.
*Prices correct at time of publication