Sky Bet Chase Day: Vanessa Ryle gives her four horses to watch this weekend at Doncaster | Racing News

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The two days of the Sky Bet Chase meeting are the highlight of Doncaster’s jumps season, with last year’s fixture acting as a springboard to stardom for Champion Chase favourite Shishkin.

Takingrisks provided trainer Nicky Richards with an emotional victory in last year’s Sky Bet Chase, a hard-fought win in a dramatic renewal of the feature contest.

This year’s card looks to be a cracker and here are four horses to keep an eye out for on Town Moor on Saturday.

Jay Jay Reilly (12.25)

Dan Skelton’s Jay Jay Rielly has been given an opening handicap mark of 118, and there is a feeling this may well underestimate his ability.

He comes here after defeat as favourite at Taunton, but that third looks much better with the benefit of hindsight, considering he was attempting to give a 7lb penalty away to two subsequent winners.

He is a half-brother to Raya Star, who was knocking on the Grade One door and he is likely to appreciate this step up in trip.

The stable has a 23 per cent strike rate in handicap hurdles at Doncaster in the last five seasons and it looks like Jay Jay Reilly could add to that tally.

Third Time Lucki (1.35)

Shishkin won the Grade Two Lightning Novices’ Chase in 2021 in emphatic style before going on to win the Arkle six weeks later and that is exactly what Dan and Harry Skelton’s Third Time Lucki attempts to do 12 months on.

The race looks to be the perfect opportunity to get back on track for Cheltenham following his defeat to Edwardstone last time out at Sandown.

Third Time Lucki ridden by jockey Harry Skelton wins at Cheltenham
Third Time Lucki ridden by jockey Harry Skelton wins at Cheltenham earlier this season

Third Time Lucki is as short as 12/1 for the Arkle and that price will be cut significantly if we see a more controlled version on Town Moor.

He showed real exuberance over fences in his first two starts of the season at Cheltenham but that was too exaggerated at Sandown and connections are sure to have learnt lessons from that effort.

A more polished and professional performance at Doncaster would see him cut to single figure prices for Cheltenham in March.

Miranda (2.10)

Paul Nicholls is well known for his success as a long-term target trainer and there is a feeling around Miranda that the plan may well be to come back for the Grade Two Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle almost immediately, given she won the race 12 months ago.

Lady Buttons went back-to-back in this event when taking the spoils in 2019 and 2020 and Miranda looks primed to likewise do the double.

The Nicholls mare opened her account this season by finishing second to a subsequent Grade Two winner and then went on to score at Ludlow, a race she also won in 2021.

That victory did not come easily as she was reluctant at the start and gave upwards of 15 lengths away to the rest of the field.

Cap Du Nord (3.20)

The big race of the day sees a whole host of well-known staying chasers line up over the three miles including a handful of horses who also took their chance last year.

Christian Williams’s Cap Du Nord was third in this race 12 months ago when sent off the 4/1 favourite and it looks as though he has been targeted at this race again.

Cap Du Nord
Cap Du Nord returns at Doncaster this weekend, lower than his handicap mark in this race last season

When we last saw him at Kempton, he disappointed under an inexperienced conditional who rode him with more prominent tactics than he was used to and it didn’t seem to suit him.

The time before that he had shaped well at Wincanton and showed that day there he retains plenty of his old ability.

He is lower in the handicap than 12 months ago and will have the benefit of good ground which is perfect for him at this sort of trip.

Sky Bet Chase Day: Vanessa Ryle gives her four horses to watch this weekend at Doncaster | Racing News originally appeared via