Sky Bet Chase 2023 Betting Odds – Doncaster Racing Tips

The Sky Bet Chase Weekend takes place between 27-28 January 2023, with Doncaster Racecourse hosting a meeting which features the historic Sky Bet Chase, although there are lots of other high-profile races that form part of the two day meeting. Indeed, you can find many Cheltenham Festival pointers by looking through the racecard.

Date Race

The Sky Bet Handicap Chase will take place on Saturday 28 January, with the runners and riders looking to follow in the footsteps of recent winners. OK Corral landed the spoils in 2020, while Takingrisks was able to oblige in 2021 and it was Windsor Avenue that tasted success twelve months ago.

It’s usually a wide open betting race, with the Sky Bet Chase taking place at 3.20pm, with seven races on the card for each day. Preceding the big race is the Yorkshire Rose Mares Hurdle and Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle, with seven notable races taking place on Friday 27 January.

The Sky Bet Chase was formerly known as the Yorkshire Chase and it’s a stamina sapping three mile encounter, with the ground usually being heavy at this time of year. It’s often a case of judging the weights and aiming to establish which runners have been the most favourably handicapped.

The two-day Sky Bet Chase meeting at Doncaster in January is one of just a few high quality events between the Welsh National and the Cheltenham Festival. It essentially revolves around the eponymous feature race, the Sky Bet Handicap Chase, which was once entitled the Great Yorkshire Chase.

Taking place over a Friday and a Saturday towards the end of January, this Doncaster meeting has a number of other intriguing looking races on its cards aside from the biggest race, including a trio of usually competitive Grade 2 races on the Saturday.

This time of year in South Yorkshire is not known for its clement weather, so taking account of potentially challenging conditions could be prudent for those looking to bet on any of these races. It will also pay dividends to study our Sky Bet Chase odds comparison, as ever, for the best betting odds from top bookmakers, whether on the day of the race or for ante post bets.

Racing Betting Highlights

While this meeting is spread over two days, it has to be said that the opening day doesn’t have all that much to get overly excited about. Of course, there are still plenty of races on the card from which to make a tidy profit if you do your homework, including two handicap chases and two handicap hurdles. But it is really the Saturday on which the best of the action occurs. Here are the most enticing races.

All these races take place on the jam-packed Saturday of the meeting, and each has its own appeal for punters and racing aficionados. The Sky Bet Handicap Chase – or just the Sky Bet Chase to many fans – attracts the most attention, especially since the sponsorship deal with Sky Bet boosted its prestige.

Run over a distance of three miles with 18 fences to clear, the race is open to runners aged five years and older. Given the time of year at which the race runs, it should come as no surprise that it has been abandoned on various occasions due to frost and/or snow. Notable winners in recent years include double winner Ziga Boy (2016, 2017) and Big Fella Thanks (2009).

The Lightning Novices’ Chase, meanwhile, has just 12 fences to jump over a distance of two miles and half a furlong. It was first run back in 1979 but at Ascot and over two miles, rather than the current distance. After various venue switches over the years it finally found a permanent home at Doncaster for this meeting in 2010.

Another Grade 2 race on the card, the River Don Novices' Hurdle, is a mile further in distance than the Lightning, and has 11 hurdles to clear. Named after the river that runs through Doncaster, this race is relatively new having only been inaugurated in 1991.

The Yorkshire Rose Mares' Hurdle, often referred to as simply the Doncaster Mares' Hurdle, is another Grade 2 race run over two miles and half a furlong. There are some very capable winners in this race’s short history (it was first run in 2008), including the Willie Mullins pair of Annie Power and Vroum Vroum Mag, both of whom have gone on to success at the Cheltenham Festival, the latter in the Mares’ Hurdle and the former in the 2016 Champion Hurdle.

Betting Strategies and Pointers

Focussing on the Sky Bet Chase itself, and though it is open to runners aged five and older, there has never been a five year old winner. Three six year olds have done the business (in 1951, 1993 and 2001), with eight seven year old winners, 15 aged eight, 17 aged nine, four 10 year olds and a solitary 11 year old (ESB in 1957).

When betting on this race, or indeed any at this often wintry Doncaster meeting, it usually makes sense to not go over the top on early bets, that is to say before you are aware of the weather forecast. In late January in Yorkshire, there could be heavy rain, snow, hail or, occasionally, a bit of sunshine. Taking into account the conditions and how each of the runners is likely to adapt will certainly prove a fruitful course of action here.

Sky Bet Chase – A Brief History

The history of the Sky Bet Chase Meeting is for all intents and purposes a history of the big race itself. As mentioned it was first run back in 1948 when a nine year old called Cool Customer won despite carrying a whopping 12 stone and seven pounds of weight, which is still the heaviest winner weight to this day.

The race has been abandoned 16 times for snow or frost over the years, and once – in 1952 – due to the death of King George VI. Given its Listed status and relatively modest prize money (compared to the biggest handicap chases on the National Hunt calendar) it is perhaps not surprising that the list of past winners is not littered with familiar names.

The list of winning jockeys and trainers is a little more familiar though, with the likes of Alan King, Paul Nicholls, David Pipe and Nigel Twiston-Davies all saddling winners and Tony McCoy, Paul Carberry and Adrian Maguire all having ridden to victory in this one.

Sky Bet Chase FAQ

The Sky Bet Handicap Chase is also known as the Great Yorkshire Chase and it’s scheduled to take place each year in January. This is a National Hunt horse race and we should expect cold and wet conditions due to the time of year in which it’s run, with the race sometimes getting postponed to a later date if the track is waterlogged.
The Sky Bet Chase is run at Doncaster Racecourse which explains its original name of the Great Yorkshire Chase. The race has taken place at Doncaster since 1948 and it’s regarded as a significant race on the National Hunt calendar. The race is sometimes abandoned due to frosty conditions, with the 2010, 2011 and 2013 renewals being called off.
The Sky Bet Chase takes place over a distance of three miles and is therefore a fairly long-distance encounter that rewards plenty of stamina along with jumping ability. There are several big obstacles to be overcome and the going is often soft or even heavy, so it often comes down to which runner is able to stay the course best of all.
Ziga Boy enjoyed a Sky Bet Chase double in 2016 and 2017, with Alan King saddling the horse to victory on consecutive occasions, while Wakanda won in 2018 and trainer Sue Smith was victorious on that occasion. In 2019, Go Conquer won for Nigel Twiston-Davies while Nicky Henderson scored his first ever winner in this race with OK Corral in 2020.
You can go to your favourite bookmaker website and look through the runners and riders for the Sky Bet Chase before going ahead and picking out the horse that you think will win. There’s nothing to stop you betting on more than one horse and you will often find each runner trading at a big price so it could pay to back multiple runners.
Yes, you can definitely bet each-way on the Sky Bet Chase and it’s a popular thing to do. After all, we’re talking about a big field of horses and it therefore pays to find a bookie who has the best each-way terms such as 1/4 odds for the first four places, while you might even find that some operators have extra places if there are a certain number of runners.
Yes, there are many bookies who have Best Odds Guaranteed available on the day of the Sky Bet Chase. This means that you can take an early price about any runner and you can get paid out at the Starting Price should your horse go off at bigger odds than the price you took. There are also racing promotions and free bets that might be available.
There are lots of bookies out there where you can compare the latest Sky Bet Chase betting odds and many of them also have a Bet and Watch service. This means that you can log into your betting account and place a bet on the Sky Bet Handicap Chase before visiting the site before the off and getting to see the live action of the race.