A field of 18 will go to post on Saturday for the £100,000 SBK Great Yorkshire Chase ran over 3m.
SBK, the sportsbook app powered by Smarkets, have been announced as title sponsors at Doncaster this weekend. The SBK Supreme Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle and the SBK Warfield Mares’ Hurdle have been rearranged from Haydock and Ascot respectively, to give a bumper eight-race card on Town Moor on Saturday and Sunday.
The hat-trick seeking pair of Surrey Quest and Famous Bridge have both stood their ground and are fascinating contenders for trainers Toby Lawes and Nicky Richards respectively.
Ahead of his 7yo’s toughest assignment yet over fences, Lawes said: “He has been so straight forward in training all year, we decided to give him a little wind operation after Huntingdon because there was still something that was niggling him with his soft pallet.”
He added: “We headed to Newbury with plenty of optimism, it was just whether we were up to that class or not and there was only one way to find out. We were delighted with the run, it was a proper performance, probably a career best, he did it so well. He came out of the Newbury race absolutely bouncing, he is fit and ready to rock and roll.”
Likewise, the Nicky Richards-trained Famous Bridge in the form of his life. He produced another career-best to land the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock last time and holds the right sort of profile for a race of this nature.
Forward Plan returned to form over course and distance last time out to beat maiden chaser Mister Coffey. The former is now 6lbs worse off with the latter for that 1&½-length success.
The shrewd Emmet Mullins team have declared Sweet Will. Irish runners have notoriously struggled in this contest throughout the years, but the 7yo has a light weight of just 10st2lbs and represents a yard with a perfect 1-1 record at Doncaster. He is also a former course winner over hurdles.
Veterans Cap Du Nord & Strictlyadancer may have been out of form so far this season, but trainer Christian Williams has shown himself to be a master at preparing horses to win top staying handicaps in recent years.
Williams said: “I won the race as a jockey and it would be great to do it as a trainer. It will be good to run two horses in it this year with a chance, it is a very tough race to win. The two horses, if everything goes right for them will be there or thereabouts.”
He continued: “They are not highly rated Saturday horses but they are horses capable of winning staying chases on a Saturday if they can get a little bit of luck and can sneak in at the bottom of the weights, which has seemed to happen here.”
Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls has won this once before in 2009 with Big Fella Thanks and will rely on Kandoo Kid to improve that record this year. The 8yo has failed to finish out of the front two in any of his four chase starts.
Join us for an electrifying two days of excitement on Town Moor! Experience the thrill of top-quality horse racing amidst a backdrop of Yorkshire pride, as we celebrate the white rose county on SBK Great Yorkshire Chase Weekend. Tickets start from £19. Get yours for Saturday here and Sunday here.