Sky Bet Handicap Chase preview: Cobra De Mai weighted to strike at Doncaster

Published on: January 23, 2020
Author: David Metcalf
Our 2020 Sky Bet Handicap Chase preview from Doncaster includes Cobra De Mai

Having fallen in the weights, Cobra De Mai looks to hold leading claims of landing the spoils in the Listed 3m Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster on Saturday (15:15).

This Dan Skelton trained eight-year-old has a fine strike rate of 30 per cent over fences having won seven of his 21 starts.

In the last of those at Cheltenham in April of last year, Cobra De Mai raced prominently throughout before powering clear to easily beat Rocky’s Treasure by 13 lengths in a competitive class 2 off a mark of 132.

He got put up to 153 for that very taking success, but is now down to what looks like a very exploitable rating 144 after four runs this season.

Cobra De Mai also comes into the race having posted an improved effort at Kempton when fifth of 11 to Just A Sting.

After being held-up and jumping to his left on more than one occasion, the son of Great Pretender kept on in eye-catching fashion to be nearest at the finish and beaten just under six lengths on soft ground.

It was a big step back in the right direction, while the return to a left-handed venue and sounder surface are big pluses.

Cobra De Mai has also won over distances between 2m 3f and 3m 2f, so is blessed with speed as well as stamina – the ideal attributes for this test.

William Marshall, who rode him at Kempton, is also once again in the saddle and takes off a handy 7lb with his claim.

Taking into account, Cobra De Mai is dangerously well-treated here and 8/1 with Unibet for Sky Bet Handicap Chase success.

Dingo Dollar odds look plenty short enough

The betting is headed by Alan King’s Dingo Dollar, who was sent off a heavily-backed 3/1 favourite for the race 12 months ago when finishing a well-beaten sixth off a mark of 148.

However, the eight-year-old went on to run a much better race at this venue next time up when chasing home Chidswell in the Grimthorpe off the same rating.

He is now able to race off 2lb lower and comes into this year’s renewal on the back of two decent efforts.

After an eye-catching effort on seasonal reappearance when a staying on third in a handicap hurdle at Newbury, Dingo Dollar ran with great credit when fifth of 24 to De Rasher Counter in the prestigious Grade 3 Ladbrokes Trophy over 3m 2f at the same venue off 146.

He led and raced up with the pace throughout in the latter until weakening on the run-in to be beaten just over eight lengths.

The second and third home have both come out and run well since to advertise the form.

The Ladbrokes Trophy is a strong race which traditionally throws up plenty of subsequent winners.

Dingo Dollar will appreciate the drop back down to 3m, over which he has won twice and been placed on two occasions from nine starts.

Another plus is the assessor has been kind in leaving his mark unchanged.

It’s just 3lb higher than when last successful in a novice contest over course and distance, so gives the son of Golden Lariat a big shout at the weights

So, taking all this into account, Dingo Dollar looks sure to go well. At Sky Bet Handicap Chase odds of 5/1 with 888Sport, however, he looks plenty short enough and worth taking on for that reason alone.

Ok Corral well-weighted if bouncing back in Sky Bet Handicap Chase

OK Corral has failed to live up to expectations in two starts this season, but is back down to a handy mark and looks weighted to run a big race on the pick of his form if bouncing back to anything like his best.

This Nicky Henderson trained 10-year-old was a top class hurdler and very impressive in winning is first two starts over fences last season.

In the first of those at Plumpton, he very easily beat Impulsive Star by 2 1/4 lengths.

The runner-up went on to land the valuable Grade 3 Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick to give the form a solid look.

OK Corral then won a Listed contest on the same card by six lengths from Secret Investor off an official rating of 147.

It was a performance which oozed class and saw him sent off a well-backed 4/1 second-favourite for the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

OK Corral was never travelling though, and got pulled-up before two out.

He was then fancied by many to make a winning return to action in the Ladbrokes Trophy, but weakened badly four from home to finish a well-beaten 15th of 24 to De Rasher Counter and behind Dingo Dollar.

It was a similar story last time out in the 2m 4f Grade 3 Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Cheltenham where he finished a tailed-off ninth of 12. However, Ok Corral has since been dropped another 3lb.

That extra slack from the handicapper gives him a revised rating of 146, which makes him a key player at the weights now back over a trip in which he has won and been placed in two starts.

So, at 10/1 with William Hill for the Sky Bet Handicap Chase, OK Corral looks well worth considering each-way.