Two Plums for the Skybet Chase at Doncaster...

Last Updated: 29.01.2016

29th January 2016

Good afternoon, friends,

In today’s Juicy Plums bulletin….

  • This week’s target race….
  • Field-splitters & angles of attack….
  • This week’s Juicy Plum selections….

This week’s target race….

This weekend our target race is the Skybet Chase. This is a listed class handicap chase for horses aged 5yo+. It is contested over 3 miles at Doncaster tomorrow afternoon at 3.15. You can watch the race live on C4 and ATR.

A field of 15 runners goes to post on ground described as good to soft. Before we get to this week’s selections, let’s have a quick spin through the main features of the cribsheet and the splitters….

  • Jonjo O’Neill’s Gold Cup hopeful Holywell carries top-weight of 11-12 off his official mark of 159. At the other end of the scale Distime is out of the handicap – carrying minimum weight of 10-00 off his mark of 129. Ziga Boy is another one out of the handicap on his mark of 132.
  • Ziga Boy and the veteran, Ikorodu Road, are the two who turn up on the back of a last-time-out win. Several others had just one in front last time out. Court By Surprise is one of them – but hasn’t been seen for 111 days.
  • The claim game – Nigel Twiston-Davies is playing the claim game – booking Ryan Hatch to take 3lb off Double Ross. Irish raider A L T Moore will be using Donagh Meyler to take 5lbs off Pass The Hat. Charlie Deutsch takes 5lb of Aachen for Venetia Williams.
  • Course and Distance – Holywell, Aachen, Court By Surprise and Ziga Boy have all been to Doncaster and done it before over fences at 3 miles – Ziga Boy most recently in December.
  • Form yardsVenetia Williams and Nigel Twiston Davies have had 3 winners apiece over the last 7 days – the latter from 7 fewer runners. Aachen represents Williams. Double Ross goes for Twiston-Davies.
  • Hot jocks – Nico De Boinville’s last 9 rides have yielded 4 winners. He’s on Le Reve for Lucy Wadham. Harry Skelton is another whose confidence will be brimming – 3 winners and 6 additional places from his last 13 rides. He’s picked up a spare on Ikorodu Road.
  • On track specialists – Nico De Boinville’s last 19 rides at Doncaster produced 9 winners. He likes the place.  Only a handful of trainers have produced more winners at Doncaster over the last 5 seasons than Alan King. Ziga Boy will seek to apply additional polish to King’s record tomorrow.

Field-splitters and angles of attack….

Some key statistical pointers help split the field and provide a route into the race….

  • 9 of the last 10 winners had already won at 3 miles or further over fences
  • 8 had run in at least 3 chases and no more than 10
  • 8 had won no more than two handicaps over fences
  • 9 had hit the first 3 in at least one of their last two starts over fences
  • 9 of the last 10 winners were aged 7- to 9-years-old
  • Paul Nicholls’s last 5 runners in the race produced a win and a place

If you like to find your own bets then those statistical pointers should help identify horses of interest….

This week’s Juicy Plum selections….

LE REVE had a wind procedure after a couple of disappointing efforts at the start of the season and that accounted for an improved effort next time at Kempton.

That form was not too far away from his career-best efforts logged last season in defeat in the Betbright Chase at Kempton and the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown – when he was officially rated 146 and 147.

He’s back down to 146 today having been dropped a pound (surprisingly perhaps) by the handicapper and if he comes on again for the wind-op and the comeback run then he can run a big race at a big each-way 16s.

It looks like he’ll get slightly better ground tomorrow at Doncaster than he had last time – and that’s in his favour.

The other one I like at the prices is DOLATULO at 12s. He ran a blinder last time out in the Becher Chase and, having been given an 8-week break, I expect him to turn up and put in a similarly competitive effort.

He goes well off a break, he handles the trip and underfoot conditions and he’s pretty much unexposed at 3 miles. He has plenty in his favour at a double-figure quote.

Connections talked about having a crack at this race last year after he won the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby. In the event they headed straight to Aintree for the Grand National. They’ve made sure not to miss the opportunity this time round.

Warren Greatrex talks about him having solid each-way claims. I think the trainer is being cautious. The horse doesn’t have to improve too much on his last effort to reach the standard generally required to win a decent renewal of this race. 

How I’ll be playing….

To recap, I’ll be backing the following two horses in tomorrow’s Skybet Chase at Doncaster….

  • LE REVE @ 16s (Boylesports & Bet Victor)
  • DOLATULO @ 12s (Generally) 

Note: If you’re backing each-way – and I wouldn’t put you off doing that – the standard place terms for a 15 runner handicap are 1/4 1-2-3. But be sure to check out Skybet’s prices – they are offering enhanced place terms of 1/4 1-2-3-4

That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.

Until next time, be lucky.


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