Sky Bet Chase Tips and Betting Offers, 3.40 at Doncaster on Saturday 28th January 2017

There’s a very competitive three mile handicap to look forward to this weekend as the Sky Bet Chase returns to Doncaster. Formerly known as the Great Yorkshire Chase, this Listed race has been running since 1948 and has become a significant fixture on the National Hunt calendar.

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Bigbadjohn heads the field for this renewal of the Sky Bet Chase but there’s reason to be cautious backing the 9/2 (Betfred) shot. He was last spotted in Newbury in November when beaten by Thistlecrack. Although he was comfortably behind, he looks like a horse with plenty more to offer. This race looks like coming a little too soon for him though, it’s only his fourth chase start and Doncaster isn’t the easiest course for a novice chaser. In addition to this, he’s yet to win over three miles coming into the race, something which has been common for previous winners (10 of the last 11). At his short price, there are better options in the field and he’s probably best avoided.

He certainly doesn’t meet the form trends coming into this race but Out Sam certainly offers appeal. Four poor efforts in his last five outings ensure he’s not too badly handicapped here but it’s worth forgiving him for these sub-standard showings. All of them came at either Cheltenham or Aintree, places known for their stiff fences and on less testing tracks, he has a decent record. The eight-year-old was fitted with cheekpieces last time out and may well use them again as it helped him secure a credible third at Kempton in December. He’s reportedly been training well since and he’s worth a gamble to put a bad patch of form behind him.

Last year’s winner, Ziga Boy, is the frame for more glory and despite not winning since, you don’t want to be too quick to rule out his chances this time. He’ll set off with 11 pounds more weight as he looks to defends his title but that doesn’t look insurmountable for the horse who has a good record at Doncaster. His stable are in good form of late and given how good he looked when winning last year, on similar ground, he’s a tempting each way bet at 12/1 with Ladbrokes.

Despite Ziga Boy’s claim, the each way tip in this race is going to be last year’s runner up, Coologue who can be backed at 12/1 with Betvictor. He’s shown a bit more since the previous renewal of this race, most notably a Class 2 win at Cheltenham over three miles and one furlong. His current record at Doncaster reads four placed finishes out of four and while he’s almost a stone heavier than he was last year, he looks to stand a serious chance of making it five out of five.