King bids to extend rule with third win in four years in Sky Bet Chase
Sky Bet Handicap Chase (Listed) | 3m, 5yo+ | ITV/Sky
Alan King knows what it takes to win the Town Moor feature as he landed it in successive years with Ziga Boy in 2016 and 2017. His Dingo Dollar is favourite to give his Barbury Castle yard a third win in four years.
As a seven-year-old Dingo Dollar, who mixed it with subsequent Welsh National winner and Cotswold Chase contender Elegant Escape in the Ladbrokes Trophy last time, is the youngest in the 11-strong line-up and is one of only two course-and-distance winners in the field.
After registering a sound success over fences in a three-runner
affair nearly a year ago at Doncaster, Dingo Dollar bypassed the Cheltenham Festival to wait for Ayr, where he acquitted himself well to finish second in the novice championship chase.
After a comeback spin over hurdles at Newbury in November, Dingo Dollar returned to the Berkshire course the following month when he was in the van for much of the way before finishing third to Sizing Tennessee in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
King said: "Dingo Dollar jumped superbly out in front when finishing third in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in December, and this has been the target ever since. Plan B was Cheltenham also on Saturday, but that two miles four and a half furlongs would have been sharp enough, so I am happy to stay at Doncaster.
"Looking further ahead, the Scottish National at Ayr in April is his ultimate objective, but he could take in the Ultima Chase at the Cheltenham Festival en route."
O O Seven v Go Conquer rematch
Nicky Henderson's classy performer O O Seven was given a masterful ride by Aidan Coleman to run down his market rival Go Conquer over course and distance last time, and there is unlikely to be much between them again in today's rematch.
That day the nine-year-old O O Seven was registering his third win over fences but his first since undergoing wind surgery last year.
Henderson said: "I thought he was good there the other day and I'd like to think he'd come on a fair bit for it. He likes good ground and we don't think he needs any further, but he gets three miles."
Can Warriors and Art improve Nicholls' record?
Last year's runner-up Warriors Tale has done all of his racing at Aintree since chasing home Wakanda that day and carries top weight after his gallant win in the Grand Sefton Chase in December.
All roads lead to a return crack at the Grand National, in which he was pulled up a year ago, for Paul Nicholls' ten-year-old gelding, who is joined by stablemate Art Mauresque.
Nicholls said: "We look to have two good each-way chances. Warriors Tale ran well in this last year, when just touched off, and should like the ground. You can put a line through Art Mauresque's last run at Huntingdon as he wasn't right afterwards, but he should be suited by going back up in trip."
What others say
Jason Maguire, racing manager to Paul and Clare Rooney, owners of Go Conquer
He's in good form and we know he likes the track. He's had a small wind operation since his last run there and hopefully that will bring about some improvement as he's high enough in the ratings.
Charlie Longsdon, trainer of Willie Boy
It's his first time over three miles but he shapes as if he should get it and if he does it will open up new doors for him. It's a tough race but he should be in the mix and has an each-way chance.
Peter Niven, trainer of Brian Boranha
He's gone up 30lb in the weights, so deserves to take his chance in these races, but I could have done without them putting 40mm of water on this week as he likes good ground.
Martin Todhunter, trainer of Monbeg River
He didn't get the trip over three miles and a furlong at Aintree but this should be better for him. He has a big race in him and goes there in good shape.
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