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Calgary carries top weight for Sky showdown

Calgary Bay will attempt to defy the steadier of 11st 12lb in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday.

The seven-year-old showed his liking for three miles at the Yorkshire venue when successful over the course and distance in December.

He made light of 11st 10lb that day as he came home seven lengths clear of Alderburn, who was also among 36 confirmations for the valuable handicap chase.

"He's on course for Doncaster. He's got a hell of a lot of weight, but he is a huge horse," said trainer Henrietta Knight.

"I think he can carry it but I think there might be something else a bit nippier down the bottom with a low weight.

"This race has always been our aim since the previous time."

Gone To Lunch is also on target for the race ahead of a return visit to Ayr for the Scottish Grand National in which he was second last April.

"The principal plan is to go to Doncaster and then we will be looking at a return to Ayr," said trainer Jeremy Scott. "We covered the Sky Bet entry with one in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham, just in case of bad weather at Doncaster.

"He seems in good order at present. We've run him on soft ground before and it didn't bother him.

"He would probably struggle for speed over three miles on quickish ground, so I wouldn't mind if there's a bit of give at Doncaster, which it looks as though there will be.

"I'd like it if he had less weight than 11st 7lb but he carried top weight when he was second in the Scottish National last year."

The David Pipe-trained Seven Is My Number is 7/1 joint-favourite with the sponsors following his smooth win in the Dipper Novices' Chase at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

Theatrical Moment, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, is the other market leader following two wins at Leicester last month.

The going at Doncaster is described as good to soft, soft in places, but there is the threat of frost as the meeting approaches.

"It is looking as though it will probably be colder by the end of the week, so there is a possibility of overnight frost," said clerk of the course David Williams.

However, would-be leading fancy Hennessy was not among the acceptors after the nine-year-old, who is trained by Warren Greatrex, was ruled out with a season-ending injury.

Sky Bet Chase, sponsors bet: 7/1 Seven Is My Number, Theatrical Moment, 8/1 Exmoor Ranger, 11/1 Far More Serious, 14/1 Calgary Bay, Tatenen, 16/1 Trabolgan, Private Be, Killyglen, Khachaturian, 18/1 Kicks For Free, 20/1 bar.