CeeBee previews the Skybet Chase from Doncaster on Saturday and he has a few bets on Pass The Hat, Gullinbursti and No Planning.
SkyBet Chase – 3 miles
With just the 15 runners this is not an appealing each way race. Instead I’m going to take a few small win only darts at big prices. The three (yes, three!) I fancy all have similar profiles. They’ve dropped in the handicap recently but have ran ok of late and should handle the conditions on Saturday. To be honest all 3 are win only type of horses anyhow, not the most reliable/consistent sorts.
Gullinbursti is the first I like. He has plummeted through the ratings, but now finds himself on quite an attractive mark, 134. His last handicap win came off 134 (2m5f on soft). Since then he placed twice off 142 (Good ground over 3m1f and 3m2f). So the trip or ground clearly won’t be an issue at Doncaster.
After 18mts off with injury, Gullinbursti returned last December with a fine 7th of 13 at Ascot. He was well beaten at the end but ran a nice race. It’s strong form too with the likes of Virak, Fingal Bay and Salubrious running well in defeat last weekend. As is often the case, the form of the Lavelle yard is a concern. 5 winners from 47 runs since a hot October. But with plenty in his favour he’s worth a small play at 14/1
Pass The Hat is interesting. He has ran some awful races but good ground is the key to him. He ran very well, albeit off a low mark, when second over hurdles last time. In Donagh Meyler he has a very promising 5lb claimer on board. Pass The Hat finished 4th just 7L behind Black Thunder and What A Warrior on his last UK trip. That was a strong race at Ascot and Pass The Hat is now rated some 6lbs lower. Add in Donagh’s claim and he appears well handicapped. With ground in his favour and a decent run last time there’s plenty to like at a big price.
No Planning also has plenty going for him. The Sue Smith yard has been firing in big 3m chase winners recently (Wakanda and Cloudy Too). This fella races off 137 which, like Gullinbursti, is a mark he has won off before. He ran well up at Haydock in November when most likely not fit enough to see out the trip. After that he unseated early in the Becher (where I fancied him). He remains on somewhat untested this season. Despite handling soft ground quite well he has won on good before so there’s nothing in this test that will bother him.
To some of the others: No blinkers for Holywell – so it’s the Festival Handicap Chase and not the Gold Cup then. A further 4 or 5lb drop would be very interesting.
Double Ross is badly handicapped and possibly better over a few furlongs shorter.
Since going up 12lbs for an end of season win, Buywise has been beaten in 6 handicap chases. 5 of which he competed in off a lower mark than todays. Visually he finishes off races over 2m5f that suggests a step up in trip will suit. It’s not guaranteed to help. For a start he’s a bad jumper and there’s additional fences over the longer trip. He tried miles at Aintree last April and was beaten 6L.
Le Reve appears to run his best races at Sandown. That’s a very different course to Doncaster. He doesn’t appear very well handicapped either.
Aachen is in fine form but Christ the handicapper has murdered him. Off 151 now.
Dolatulo is solid enough in these 3m chases but he’s not well handicapped. He went up 9lbs for winning, what turned out to be, a poor Rowland Meyrick last season and has struggled since. He went close in the Becher last time but they finished in a heap and plenty of those around him looked exposed pre-race.
The favourite Le Mercurey has no form behind 2m5f. Ok he may be well handicapped but he’s also one of the least experienced and youngest in the field. His Ascot win is strong form but he was rather fortunate being left in front at the last.
Coologue is equally as inexperienced with just 3 chase starts but he doesn’t look as well handicapped as Le Mercurey.
Court By Surprise is on a career high mark which is a tough ask of an 11yo.
Distime is a few lbs out of the handicap proper which will make his chance all the more difficult.
Ziga Boy is solid in the fact he won impressively over C&D last time out. However a class 3 handicap off 117 is far removed from this class 1 action, off 132 against 140-150 types. He struggled when raised for his win in Dec’14.
1 point win Pass The Hat at 14/1 with Coral and William Hill
1 point win Gullinbursti at 14/1 with Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Bet365 and Coral
1 point win No Planning at 16/1 with William Hill and Stan James