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Gold cup candidates amongst strong Sky Bet Chase entry
Martin Keighley’s talented Champion Court, a brave fourth in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, has been installed the early 8/1 ante-post favourite for the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on January 26, a contest that could thisyear prove to have some bearing on the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting some three weeks later.

Amongst the other 59 entries for the three-mile listed Doncaster contest are Wyck Hill and Bold Sir Brian, both of whom have been in terrific form already this term, hold entries for the showcase Cheltenham event, and are tempting punters looking at the Paddy Power racing specials. Wyck Hill continued his rapid rise through the handicapping ranks with an impressive four-length defeat of subsequent Sandown scorer Katenko, a performance that prompted his handler David Bridgwater to hand him a speculative entry in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Wyck Hill would need to win the Sky Bet Chase to have any chance of justifying a place in the line-up for the blue riband contest so punters following that theory might well be interested at his current ante-post odds of a top price 12/1 for the feature Town Moor event, while the same comments apply to Katenko, his closest pursuer at Ascot, offered at the same price and also featuring amongst the entries for the Cheltenham championship race.

The Lucinda Russell-trained Bold Sir Brian, is potentially one of the best horses to come out of Scotland for some years. Winner of three of his four novice chases last term, the gelded son of Brian Boru won readily on his season bow this time around at Carlisle before impressing many seasoned observers with his 16-length dismissal of the useful Pacha Du Polder in the listed Sporting bet Future Stars Chase at Sandown Park in early December.

Off a current handicap mark of 155 Bold Sir Brian will be asked to concede 15lbs to such as Wyck Hill, but still features to the fore in the newly formed market for the Sky bet Chase at a best offer of 14/1.

Last year’s winner Calgary Bay (20/1) is now trained by the colourful Mick Channon, (his original handler Henrietta Knight having retired at the end of last season), and off a 4lb higher mark would still not be without a chance if recapturing his best form. So far this campaign though he has turned in two poor efforts so has something to prove.

At current odds Bold Sir Brian makes most appeal for what promises to be a fascinating and informative event.
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