As is so often in the case in class-1 handicaps, the winner more often than not comes from those carrying less than 11-0, and 7 of the last 10 winners of the Skybet Chase (Saturday 3.15pm Doncaster) have carried 10-12 or less.
The classy Holywell and Irish Cavalier are respected at the top of the weights, however for the purposes of an ante-post punt I’m concentrating my efforts on those that fit the preferred weight-carrying criteria.
A course and distance winner off 122, he had to drop back down to a mark of 115 before getting back in the winner’s enclosure. Now rated 131, this looks a tough ask with the stable not looking in the best of form.
A mark of 139 definitely looks one he can win off, and his form behind Southfield Royale here last time was boosted when that horse ran a fine second in a grade-1. It’s hard to be confident though with his stable in poor form.
Court By Surprise
Likeable course and distance winner off 127, but now finds himself on a mark of 140 after two wins last season, and this mark just may prove beyond him.
Only 2lb higher than when a decent third at Chepstow two starts back, but the winner there could only finish second in this last year off a lower mark.
The best handicapped horse in the field off a mark of 134, which is a mark he’s won off in the past. Also been placed off marks in the 140’s in decent events, and once ran Rocky Creek to around 4-lengths over hurdles here conceding him 4lb. Should be better for seasonal debut after a long break, and stable showing signs of form.
A course winner last time out off a 7lb lower mark, but has won off this mark previously. He’s 13 year-old but that didn’t stop him winning last time, and his stable is amongst the winners.
A novice chaser with the potential to improve his mark for a stable that has won this race in the last 10 years, but it’s not a stable in form at the moment.
Installed as favourite on the back of a course and distance win last time out. However, he’s up 15lb for that in a better class race.
With quite a few stables out of form, both Ikorodu Road and Gullinbursti look worth chancing at big odds.
Ikorodu Road each-way @ 25/1 (Various Bookmakers) ¼ odds 4 places
Gullinbursti each-way @ 20/1 (Various Bookmakers) ¼ odds 4 places