Trio head Skybet market

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All eyes are now on our first big feature of the New Year, the Skybet Chase, which takes place next week on Saturday, January 28.

The first race of the day is scheduled for 1.10pm and the seventh and last at 4.25pm.

In th feature race, the Skybet Chase at 2.45pm, there are some exciting entries with 45 runners currently on the slate. The Skybet is an ideal trial for Cheltenham and Aintree and as a listed Class 1 handicap attracts some top runners and riders.

As it currently stands Alan King’s Hold on Julio, Nicky Henderson’s Shakalakaboomboom and Emma Lavelle’s Qianshan Leader head the market.

All three won last time out and get the trip so will be certainly worthy of some serious consideration alongside a host of other strong entries, including those of champion trainer Paul Nichols, who currently has five.

Nicholls won this race in 2009 with Big Fella Thanks and this time around his prospects AiteenThirtythree and Michel le Bon could well be the ones to threaten.

As mentioned previously Featherbed Lane went into last Saturday’s William Hill Lanzarote Hurdle with a fair chance and ended up being beaten by a nostril in a photo finish from the 9-2 race favourite Swincome Flame.

Winning jockey Will Kennedy suffered despite the win however, losing his share of the prize money and incurring a seven day ban for falling foul of the whip regulations.

There has been an explosion of suspensions handed down recently which is reigniting the controversial issue.

With new BHA chief executive Paul Bittar now in the chair it would seem likely that the whip will be top of his agenda.

For more information on Doncaster Racecourse or to buy tickets to the Skybet Chase or the Construction Index Racing Followed by Madness Live Music Concert in June, go to or call 01302 304200.