Simon Holt best bets and tips for Sky Bet Chase Day at Doncaster and Cheltenham Trials Day

Harry Skelton rides Simon Holt's Cheltenham fancy
Harry Skelton rides Simon Holt's Cheltenham fancy

Simon Holt has three recommended bets for Saturday's racing including Dan Skelton's Flash The Steel at Cheltenham.

Recommended bets: Saturday Janaury 26


In a field comprising several possible short runners, DINGO DOLLAR looks to have excellent claims in Saturday's Listed Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster.

Alan King's progressive chaser runs for the first time since finishing a creditable third behind Sizing Tennessee in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury at the beginning of December, but his long-term target is the Scottish Grand National and his trainer will want him pretty fresh for that.

In the Newbury race, Dingo Dollar jumped with precision and, while unable to match the winner and subsequent Welsh Grand National hero Elegant Escape in the closing stages, he finished ahead of Beware The Bear and West Approach who have both run well since. The form looks really solid.

When winning over the course and distance in a small field last season, Wayne Hutchinson's mount was racing on ground described as good to soft, and King requires the ground to ease just a little before giving his charge the green light.

While 0 0 Seven and Go Conquer fought out an exciting finish here last time, neither has always convinced over a truly-run three miles and both Willie Boy and Calipto are unproven over this trip.

Paul Nicholls runs two. Warriors Tale, beaten narrowly by Wakanda in a bunch finish in this race last year on soft ground, could find conditions quick enough under top weight while Art Mauresque, despite finishing second to Traffic Fluide at Ascot two starts ago, is another who has sometimes finished weakly at this distance.

Earlier, ITS'AFREEBEE is potentially well in at the weights in the opening Alan Wood Plumbing and Heating Handicap Hurdle.

Formerly smart over both hurdles and fences, beating the likes of Le Prezien, Rolling Maul and Cole Harden, he then took quite a few backward steps and has clearly had a few issues.

However, his form on the Flat for Richard Spencer marked a mini-revival last summer when his handicap rating rose to 86 and a hurdling mark here of just 118 looks very lenient with the excellent Sean Bowen booked to ride.

At Cheltenham, FLASH THE STEEL also catches the eye off a rating of 125 in the Steel Plate And Sections Handicap Hurdle.

Up 5lb for carrying top weight to victory at Doncaster on his handicap debut last time, when he showed plenty of courage after a mistake at the second last, Dan Skelton's promising seven-year-old had earlier put up respectable efforts in decent novice hurdles at Bangor and Huntingdon, the form of which has worked out well.

There is every chance of much more to come from this lightly-raced gelding.

Some of the other races at Cheltenham look trappy on what is an excellent card. Frodon has been a great friend to this column, and should have an excellent chance again in the Betbright Trial Cotswold Chase.

Of course, he loves the New Course and was a devastating winner of the handicap chase on this card (2m5f) last year, but the step up in trip does ask a question even though he is the best horse at the weights.

In two other races, I couldn't make my mind up: Kildisart or Azzerti, Wholestone, Black Op or Aux Ptit Soins so will give them a swerve!


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