Definitly a maybe as Sky Bet Chase attracts 46 entries

Exciting chaser Definitly Red features among 46 entries for the £80,000 Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday, January 28.
The three-mile Listed handicap chase is the richest Jump race of the year at Doncaster and the feature of an exciting seven-race card on which Sky Bet also supports the £50,000 Sky Bet First Race Special Handicap Chase and the £35,000 Grade Two Sky Bet Lightning Novices’ Chase, both run over an extended two miles.
Definitly Red, trained by Brian Ellison at Norton in North Yorkshire, has been in excellent form and ended 2016 with a faultless seven-length victory over Wakanda (Sue Smith, 16/1 with Sky Bet) in the G3 Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day.
That came on the back of a success over hurdles at Carlisle in October on his comeback and a respectable third behind Otago Trial in the Listed Rehearsal Handicap Chase at Newcastle on November 26.
The eight-year-old is a 12/1 chance for the Sky Bet Chase with the race sponsor.
Ellison said: “I thought Definitly Red was impressive at Wetherby. I know he has lots of good form on heavy ground but I do think the ground at Wetherby [good to soft] is what he wants because he isn’t slow. He won a nice race at Ayr over two and a half.
“I am very happy with him. He has run against some very good horses and is right up there with them.
“He beat a fair horse [Onefitzall] at Carlisle and then he was bit unlucky at Newcastle because the ground was horrible and he went wide the whole way.
“He is in great form and will go for either the Sky Bet Chase or the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock the week before.
“We will get his next race out the way before making plans for the spring, but you would imagine he will have entries in the handicaps at Cheltenham, and also at Aintree and Ayr. Then next season we could work towards a race like the Hennessy.”
Regal Encore (Anthony Honeyball) is Sky Bet’s 10/1 favourite following a swooping victory in the three-mile Listed Silver Cup at Ascot in December.
Champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls has eight entries, the most of any handler, and he has already tasted Sky Bet Chase success twice, thanks to Colourful Life (2005) and Big Fella Thanks (2009).
His possible contenders include Saphir Du Rheu (12/1), a G1-winning novice two seasons ago, Scottish Grand National victor Vicente (16/1) and Virak (14/1), a G2 scorer over the course and distance.
The all-conquering stable of Colin Tizzard has three possible representatives in Sandy Beach (12/1), who bolted up in a handicap chase at Newbury on his latest start, recent Cheltenham fourth Sizing Codelco (14/1) and popular 10-year-old Third Intention (16/1).
Ziga Boy (Alan King, 14/1) could bid to become the first two-time winner of the Sky Bet Chase after a three and a quarter length victory over Coologue (Charlie Longsdon, 16/1) in 2016.
The eight-year-old, who triumphed as 8/1 co-second favourite last year, loves Doncaster for, as well as his Sky Bet Chase success, he won over the same course and distance the month before and, on his most recent start in December, finished third in a similar race.
Coologue continues to run well, winning at Cheltenham in October and finishing second at Newbury last month, while the Oxfordshire-based Longsdon also has Long Lunch (16/1) entered.
Long Lunch, a winner at Cheltenham and Warwick last year, finished a nose second in the Doncaster handicap chase won by No Duffer (Tom George, 16/1) in which Ziga Boy was third.
Other notable names include Southfield Royale (Neil Mulholland, 14/1), winner of the G2 December Novices’ Chase over the course and distance last season, Kempton Park runner-up Go Conquer (Jonjo O’Neill, 16/1) and unexposed five-year-old Calett Mad (Nigel Twiston-Davies, 16/1).
The weights for the Sky Bet Chase are revealed on Wednesday, January 18.
Michael Shinners, Racing PR Manager at Sky Bet, said: “The Sky Bet Chase is always very competitive and the fact we are going 10/1 about the market leader Regal Encore demonstrates that it will be once again this year.
“With Sky Bet based in Yorkshire, it is always great to support our local courses and we have three terrific races to look forward to at Doncaster on January 28.”
Doncaster’s new Executive director Tim Banfield commented: “The Sky Bet Chase is always a highlight of the National Hunt season at Doncaster.
“Following Ziga Boy’s impressive win in 2016, we are looking forward to the prospect of delivering another thrilling renewal.”
Sky Bet Chase – Sky Bet prices: 10/1 Regal Encore; 12/1 Saphir Du Rheu, Definitly Red, Doctor Harper, Sandy Beach; 14/1 Virak, Vivaldi Collonges, Southfield Royale, Rock The Kasbah, Sizing Codelco, Ballyboker Breeze, Ziga Boy; 16/1 Tenor Nivernais, Third Intention, Le Mercurey, Volnay De Thaix, Wakanda, Vicente, Irish Saint, Yala Enki, Kruzhlinin, Coologue, No Duffer, Sego Success, Potters Corner, Go Conquer, Out Sam, Bigbadjohn, Another Hero, Long Lunch, Looking Well, Belami Des Pictons, Calett Mad; 20/1 Holywell, Just A Par, Caid Du Berlais, Warrantor, Fayette County, Morney Wing, Triolo D’Alene, Knock House, Zeroeshadesofgrey, Federici; 33/1 Racing Pulse, Katachenko, Sun Cloud
Each-way a quarter the odds 1-2-3-4
The Sky Bet Chase
Listed handicap chase, £80,000 Total Prize Fund. 3.40pm, Doncaster, Saturday, January 28. For five-year-olds and upwards, three miles (2m 7f 214yds). Penalties: after January 15, a winner of a chase 5lb. Entries closed January 10, entries revealed January 11 (46 entries), weights revealed January 18. Five-day confirmation stage January 23, final declaration stage 10.00am, January 26.
Horse
Age
Owner
Trainer
ANOTHER HERO (IRE)
8
J P McManus
Jonjo O’Neill
BALLYBOKER BREEZE (IRE)
9
Paul & Clare Rooney
Nicky Richards
BELAMI DES PICTONS (FR)
6
Hills of Ledbury (Aga)
Venetia Williams
BIGBADJOHN (IRE)
8
Nigel Morris
Rebecca Curtis
CAID DU BERLAIS (FR)
8
Donlon, Doyle, MacDonald & C Barber
Paul Nicholls
CALETT MAD (FR)
5
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nigel Twiston-Davies
COOLOGUE (IRE)
8
The New Club Partnership
Charlie Longsdon
DEFINITLY RED (IRE)
8
P J Martin
Brian Ellison
DOCTOR HARPER (IRE)
9
The Johnson Family
David Pipe
FAYETTE COUNTY (IRE)
10
J P McManus
Tim Vaughan
FEDERICI
8
Jon Glews
Donald McCain
GO CONQUER (IRE)
8
Paul & Clare Rooney
Jonjo O’Neill
HOLYWELL (IRE)
10
Gay Smith
Jonjo O’Neill
IRISH SAINT (FR)
8
Mrs Johnny de la Hey
Paul Nicholls
JUST A PAR (IRE)
10
Paul Barber & The Late Graham Roach
Paul Nicholls
KATACHENKO (IRE)
8
Trevor Hemmings
Donald McCain
KNOCK HOUSE (IRE)
8
Tim Leslie
Donald McCain
KRUZHLININ (GER)
10
Paul & Clare Rooney
Philip Hobbs
LE MERCUREY (FR)
7
Chris Giles & Colm Donlon
Paul Nicholls
LONG LUNCH
8
Battersby, Birchall, Halsall & Vestey
Charlie Longsdon
LOOKING WELL (IRE)
8
David Wesley Yates
Nicky Richards
MORNEY WING (IRE)
8
The Steeple Chasers
Charlie Mann
NO DUFFER
10
David Robey
Tom George
OUT SAM
8
Swanee River Partnership
Warren Greatrex
POTTERS CROSS
10
Conyers, O’Reilly, Roddis, Zeffman
Rebecca Curtis
RACING PULSE (IRE)
8
Carl Hinchy
Rebecca Curtis
REGAL ENCORE (IRE)
9
J P McManus
Anthony Honeyball
ROCK THE KASBAH (IRE)
7
Diana Whateley
Philip Hobbs
SANDY BEACH
7
Brocade Racing
Colin Tizzard
SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR)
8
The Stewart Family
Paul Nicholls
SEGO SUCCESS (IRE)
9
Tim Leadbeater
Alan King
SIZING CODELCO (IRE)
8
Ann & Alan Potts
Colin Tizzard
SOUTHFIELD ROYALE
7
Angela Yeoman
Neil Mulholland
SUN CLOUD (IRE)
10
Boundary Garage (Bury) Limited
Malcolm Jefferson
TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR)
10
Boultbee Brooks Ltd
Venetia Williams
THIRD INTENTION (IRE)
10
Robert and Sarah Tizzard
Colin Tizzard
TRIOLO D’ALENE (FR)
10
Mr & Mrs Sandy Orr
Nicky Henderson
VICENTE (FR)
8
John Hales & Ian Fogg
Paul Nicholls
VIRAK (FR)
8
Hills of Ledbury (Aga)
Paul Nicholls
VIVALDI COLLONGES (FR)
8
The Gi Gi Syndicate
Paul Nicholls
VOLNAY DE THAIX (FR)
8
Judy Wilson
Nicky Henderson
WAKANDA (IRE)
8
M B Scholey & R H Scholey
Sue Smith
WARRANTOR (IRE)
8
Sarah Drysdale
Warren Greatrex
YALA ENKI (FR)
7
Hills of Ledbury (Aga)
Venetia Williams
ZEROESHADESOFGREY (IRE)
8
Mrs J K Buckle
Neil King
ZIGA BOY (FR)
8
Axom LI
Alan King
 
46 entries
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