Sky Bet Handicap Chase preview: Dingo Dollar fancied to cash in during Doncaster featurePublished on: January 24, 2019Author: Jamie Clark
Doncaster hosts a quality card as a northern alternative to Cheltenham’s Festival Trials Day this Saturday, and the feature race is the Listed 3m Sky Bet Handicap Chase (15:15). Dingo Dollar heads the betting as a warm favourite now dropping back in trip and down in grade.
Trained by Alan King, who saddled Ziga Boy to back-to-back successes of this in 2016 and 2017, the seven-year-old has a progressive profile over fences and is still open to plenty further progress after just six starts in this sphere. Dingo Dollar is a course and distance winner as novice, who followed-up on a 15-length success at Newbury where the saddle slipped here in February when beating the same rival off worse terms by three lengths.
He was then far from disgraced when beaten a length off top weight in an Ayr handicap and headed close home by Crosshue Boy, as he was giving the winner 12lb. A spin over hurdles back at Newbury put Dingo Dollar spot on for a tilt at the Ladbrokes Trophy and he was a fine 17-length third to Sizing Tennessee.
That run in the valuable Grade 3 handicap chase feature of the Winter Carnival gives him leading form claims in this Listed affair, and the runner-up Elegant Escape has since come out and landed the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow over Christmas. While the handicapper has left his mark of 147 alone, Dingo Dollar looks primed to go even better in this at 11/4 with Unibet.
Heavy weights prominent in betting despite recent history
The only negatives for the favourite is the trainer’s form and the fact that each of the last five winners carried 11 stone or less. That stat is belied by the betting, however, as those next in the market behind Dingo Dollar are all carrying welter burdens.
O O Seven is the other course and distance winner in the 11-runner field for champion trainer Nicky Henderson after scoring on Town Moor last time out. This nine-year-old is up 5lb for beating the re-opposing Go Conquer by half-a-length, but now meets Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge off 8lb worse terms because Jordan Nailor takes 7lb off with his claim.
While a wind op may have freed up O O Seven’s breathing, it is a big ask for him to follow-up on the revised terms despite the Seven Barrows yard remaining in brilliant form. Go Conquer, meanwhile, is also 12lb better off at the weights including Nailor’s claim for being beaten five lengths into third by Paul Nicholls runner Art Mauresque in a Grade 3 at Ascot.
That one goes off 2lb higher than when last successful, but has claims on the pick of his form over races at roughly this trip. O O Seven has 10 lengths to find on Art Mauresque on Sandown form where they filled the places behind Top Notch in the Grade 2 Oaksey Chase as they again meet off level weights.
Another Nicholls trained entrant Warriors Tale tops the weights after going down a head to Wakanda in this 12 months ago. The winner has advertised the form nicely by landing the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock last weekend, while the runner-up scored over the Grand National fences in the Grand Sefton last time out.
Brian Boranha may have each-way squeak
If Warriors Tale is to win this off 6lb higher than last year, then the horses on lower weights and at bigger odds may need to disappoint. The remaining six are all double figures prices at the time of writing and Irish point winner Willie Boy has a career high mark of 145 for an 11-length victory in a class 3 Wetherby handicap on Boxing Day, but this demands more.
Venetia Williams had a good end to 2018 and has started this year in decent form too, so nine-year-old Calipto tries the trip for the first time back on 143. He’s up 5lb for a four-length win in a Wincanton class 2 handicap last time out and in-form jockey Charlie Deutsch is back on board.
Brian Boranha is a big price, but stays further and doesn’t have stamina to prove as a result. Trained by Peter Niven, this 20/1 outsider with betway won the Durham National at Sedgefield when last in action and has a fine record of at least placing in races over 2m 7f or longer. Henry Brooke, who is fine form, again takes the ride.
While that one is up 9lb, last year’s fifth Federici doesn’t race out of the handicap this time, but it looks a classier renewal for the mount of Brian Hughes. Veteran duo Monbeg River and On Tour complete the line-up, but aren’t open to further progress, so Dingo Dollar may gain a big race success in this.