The must-know facts and trends ahead of the 2017 Sky Bet Chase
This week’s bumper nine-race card from Cheltenham has got our juices flowing but we’re not about to forget about the cracking action on offer at Doncaster.
The Sky Bet Chase is the feature contest and once again a competitive field will be assembling on Town Moor.
Last season’s hero Ziga Boy is one of 16 runners declared with Alan King’s grey aiming to complete a memorable double in the three-mile contest.
He beat Charlie Longsdon’s re-opposing Coologue by three-and-a-quarter lengths in last year’s renewal although he’s failed to score in five outings since then.
In terms of the betting, Rebecca Curtis’ Bigbadjohn is the current market leader with the 4/1 shot finishing second behind Thistlecrack last time out having previously won at Newbury.
The progressive eight-year-old looks the sort of unexposed type that usually does well in this race and he certainly ticks a few boxes.
Seven of the last 10 winners were rated between 128 and 136 with Bigbadjohn just fitting into that bracket.
And if you’re a stickler for trends then it’s also worth noting that four of the last six winners have been aged seven-years-old.
Neil Mulholland’s course and distance winner Southfield Royale is the only entrant to match that statistic although he’s yet to win a race under Rules that’s contained more than nine runners.
The son of Presenting is also going to carry 11-7 which is perhaps another reason to doubt his chances.
In the last 10 years only one winner has carried more than 11-2 with seven of the last 10 victors lumping around less than 11-0.
And if you’re having a further look at the prices then you’re probably best looking at the top end of the betting.
Eight of the last 10 winners have come in at odds no bigger than 12/1. That takes care of nearly half the expected field and brings us on to our final judgement.
Given everything we know, Nicky Richards’ BALLYBOKER BREEZE makes plenty of appeal.
His three previous victories have come on different ground so we know he’s versatile. Also, the last of those was at another left-handed track at Bangor-On-Dee, further enhancing his claims.
The handicapper may have made allowances for his recent success but we still think he’s weighted well enough to put on a big show in Yorkshire.
Click here for the latest Sky Bet Chase odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing