Brian Ellison considers Doncaster date for Definitly Red
Wednesday 11 January 2017
Brian Ellison's progressive stayer Definitly Red is among 46 entries for the £80,000 Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on January 28.
The eight-year-old showed he was still on the upgrade when running out a smooth winner of the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day.
"I thought Definitly Red was impressive at Wetherby," said North Yorkshire trainer Ellison.
"I know he has lots of good form on heavy ground but I do think the good to soft ground at Wetherby is what he wants because he isn't slow. He won a nice race at Ayr over two and a half miles.
"I am very happy with him. He has run against some very good horses and is right up there with them.
"He beat a fair horse (Onefitzall) at Carlisle and then he was bit unlucky at Newcastle because the ground was horrible and he went wide the whole way.
"He is in great form and will go for either the Sky Bet Chase or the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock the week before.
"We will get his next race out the way before making plans for the spring, but you would imagine he will have entries in the handicaps at Cheltenham, and also at Aintree and Ayr.
"Then next season we could work towards a race like the Hennessy."
Definitly Red is a 12-1 chance with the race sponsor, who make Regal Encore their favourite at 10-1.
Anthony Honeyball's charge bounced back to his best with victory in the three-mile Listed Silver Cup at Ascot last month.
Paul Nicholls has eight entries as he tries to win this race for a third time after having been successful with Colourful Life (2005) and Big Fella Thanks (2009).
Among his hopefuls are Saphir Du Rheu, Scottish Grand National scorer Vicente and Virak, a winner over the course and distance.
Colin Tizzard has three possibles in Sandy Beach, an easy winner at Newbury, Sizing Codelco and Third Intention.
The first two home 12 months ago, Alan King's Ziga Boy and Coologue, trained by Charlie Longsdon, figure in the list, while the latter also has Long Lunch.
Other entries include Neil Mulholland's Southfield Royale, Jonjo O'Neill's Go Conquer and Calett Mad from Nigel Twiston-Davies' stable.
The weights will be revealed on January 18.