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Imperial Cup 2012

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  • #21161
    BigG
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    • Total Posts 9284

    Normally the week before Cheltenham the standard of racing is nothing to write home about, with the exception of the Imperial Cup at Sandown on Saturday, which is a cracking handicap.

    The Paul Nicholls trained Ted Spread is all the rage and he does look a decent horse judged on his last two runs at Taunton. However in what is always is a tough race, where everything is fighting tooth and nail, I’m not about to take 4-1 (as low as 100-30). I don’t know if this is a race that Paul Nicholls gears a horse up for, he has never had a winner in it.

    David Pipe on the other hand, like his father, very much aims his horses at this. He won it in 2007 and 2008, his dad won it four times. This makes Master of Arts very interesting. He was a decent horse on the flat for Mark Johnston and could, as they say, be anything over jumps. The 6-1 with Betfred (as low as 9-2) looks interesting.

    However I’d be more tempted to go with something a bit more tried and tested. Even Williams trained Lucaindubai looks the right type for this, and I think would definitely be trained with this race being his target. He ran a good race to be fourth in this last year, and might have been a bit closer had he not been very untidy at the last. He is obviously in fine fettle, winning well in January at Kempton, running on strongly to lead near the line. His run at Wincanton in February was simply to pick up some place money, fourth of five behind Binocular, Celestial Halo and Starluck. That would give him a good run out without having to get competitive.

    He raced off 123 as 5 year old last year carrying 10st. Of the last 3 winners, two were 6 one was 7, and the last 2 winners carried 10st 3lbs. Being 6 years now, running off 127 and carrying 10st 3lbs, all (to me at least) point to a horse that just about has it all going for him.

    I think the 25-1 with Ladbrokes and Stan James is a cracking e/w bet.

    #395012
    Eclipse First
    Member
    • Total Posts 1569

    The seasonal debut of Red Merlin will be interesting if he takes his chance. Although he showed very progressive form on spring ground last year, he won on soft and heavy on the flat. He doesn’t look excessively burdened on 130 and if he wins Saturday he would be a short price to scoop the bonus in the County Hurdle if his penalty gets him into that race.

    #395023
    rich1985
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    • Total Posts 1220

    Tocca Ferro if it runs or Pateese for me.

    #395026
    The Young Fella
    Blocked
    • Total Posts 2066

    This race sounds absolutely white-hot!

    Master Of Arts, Red Merlin, Ted Spread, Tocca Ferro…and that’s just four obviously well-handicapped horses. You could imagine the first three or four in this race fighting out the finish of the County Hurdle next week.

    Too tricky for me to have a bet though. No idea what to expect from the horses returning from absences.

    #395045
    strawbear
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    • Total Posts 229

    Running off 150, Starluck looks thrown in to me.

    #395048
    rich1985
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    • Total Posts 1220

    Does Tocca Ferro have any entries at Cheltenham? Can’t see it in any Market…has won FTO in the past, and has ran in this hurly burly race in 2010 (finishing 7th). Not that well handicapped (now on 141, was 134) but has a big race in him. Lavelle thinks the world of him…

    Pateese could bounce back now back to the scene of his last win.

    Nothing else stands out for me, Starluck has questions to answer and Ted Spread is a bit overrated to me (didn’t beat much last time and was put in his place by Grumeti before that). Master Of Arts is quite interesting back over hurdles after a stint on the flat and was a Triumph contender a few years ago. Not much recent form to go on though and is a bit of a stab in the dark in a race like this.

    #395049
    Eclipse First
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    • Total Posts 1569

    Tocca Ferro has no other engagements according to his profile on the sporting life website.

    #395070
    no idea
    Member
    • Total Posts 685

    Strawbear I agree
    Starluck off 150 if the ground continues to dry looks thrown in.

    #395072
    TomBarkley87
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    • Total Posts 1792

    Devil To Pay for the in-form King yard looks a good each way option at 14/1.

    @TheTomBarkley87

    #395087
    Grimes
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1890

    On the face of it, Ted Spread looks slightly better in than Master Of Arts, translating their handicap marks and speed figures from the flat.

    The lower-weighted horses have tended to win the race in the past several years, presumably due to being less exposed. I looked at Master Of Arts form in the RP and it didn’t seem particularly special. But then I noticed that after running up a sequence of 6 wins on the flat (1 over 7f and 5 over a mile), he was bought by the trainer (father or son) for more than 310,000 guineas on 28 Oct, 2008. He then easily won a Class 4 hurdle at Doncaster at the of January 2009, his last win.

    Presumably, when he was bought, it was on the basis of what he had shown on the gallops as a hurdler, since he was immediately sent hurdling, and most of his flat wins had been on the all-weather.

    The plunge on him suggest that it is greatly hoped by connections that that small fortune was not wasted on him. If he were to win here and at Cheltenham, they would receive an additional £100,000. I haven’t checked if he’s down to run there yet, but I expect he is.

    Incidentally, Grazia, his dam, is a half-sister to Halling, by Sharpo (Halling was by Diesis). There were also 3 less successful siblings. M Of A’s sire is Swain, whose progeny have not been that good under either code. But, over all, I think the signs look good (and hope so fervently). Not that at 5s the value stands out in a field like that.

    #395422
    rich1985
    Member
    • Total Posts 1220

    Tocca Ferro out, very disappointed as this horse has a big prize in him. Red Merlin also out. Pateese is my main hope now, I just don’t think Ted Spread has the gears for this and Master Of Arts a bit of an unknown without a hurdles run for so long.

    #395426
    rich1985
    Member
    • Total Posts 1220

    Just had a further look at the runners and Ciceron could be worth an ew shout on a fair Mark and back at Sandown, as well as Swift Lord from the in form Moore yard. The latter enjoyed a facile win this time last year albeit in a weaker race, but interesting that connections have persevered and have opted for this race. Both around 20/1 to supplement my main bet on Pateese.

    #395433
    rich1985
    Member
    • Total Posts 1220

    Just looking at Swift Lord’s form, very impressive. Only narrowly beaten by Native Gallery, Ackertac and Red Merlin and thrashed Raya Star LTO, who has since won the Ladbroke. 20/1 won’t last long I don’t think!

    #395442
    Venture to Cognac
    Moderator
    • Total Posts 14083

    I’ll have to stay loyal to Pateese.

    Although I’ve chucked a few quid at him for The County Hurdle, I’d much prefer he went here. Won very well at Sandown earlier in the season, and just feel he’s a lot better going right handed. Conditions should suit, and the return to 2 miles will also be an advantage, it’s by far his best trip.

    Slight concern his marks not slipped that far, and the more obvious concern that he might still head for Cheltenham, however 25’s :shock: seems a very generous each way price.

    Plenty of dangers though, Ciceron is another who’s way overpriced at 25’s, though he’s another who could still head for The County. Master of Arts is one who obviously can’t be ruled out. Finally, Nampour. It’s taken him a while to get his act together, but came up against a very well handicapped horse last week, otherwise he’d have been a very comfortable winner. This might be a bit soon, but there’s definitely a big race in him.

    GL

    #395490
    BigG
    Participant
    • Total Posts 9284

    I’ll have to stay loyal to Pateese.

    Although I’ve chucked a few quid at him for The County Hurdle, I’d much prefer he went here. Won very well at Sandown earlier in the season, and just feel he’s a lot better going right handed. Conditions should suit, and the return to 2 miles will also be an advantage, it’s by far his best trip.

    Slight concern his marks not slipped that far, and the more obvious concern that he might still head for Cheltenham, however 25’s :shock: seems a very generous each way price.

    Plenty of dangers though, Ciceron is another who’s way overpriced at 25’s, though he’s another who could still head for The County. Master of Arts is one who obviously can’t be ruled out. Finally, Nampour. It’s taken him a while to get his act together, but came up against a very well handicapped horse last week, otherwise he’d have been a very comfortable winner. This might be a bit soon, but there’s definitely a big race in him.

    GL

    I wouldn’t worry about whether Pateese, or any of them, will head to Cheltenham or not, even if they are Cheltenham bound they are unlikely not to want to run here first as there is a bonus (I think £75000) for the winner of this if they go on to win at Cheltenham too. The pipe stable aim at this every year, and have done very well, so I agree with you that Master of Arts is on the shortlist.

    Your selection Pateese has a decent chance, he ran a good race to be 3rd in this last year carrying 10st 2lbs. As I mentioned when I opened this thread, I like Lucaindubai a lot. He was 4th, 2 1/4 lengths behind Pateese in this last year. Lucaindubail was carrying 10st and this year carries 10st 6lbs. That puts him 9lbs better off with Pateese this year, who carries 11st1lb.

    Of course its a year on and the weight difference might not be significant depending on how they have developed. I think Lucaindubai has run well in his last couple and comes here in fine fettle. It’s going to be a tough race, it always is, and both Pateese and Lucaindubai have been there before and are maybe a bit more battle hardened than the favourites. I hope that goes in their favour.

    Best of luck my friend.

    #395530
    Venture to Cognac
    Moderator
    • Total Posts 14083

    G, good luck with Lucaindubai too.

    Yeah, it’s on my mind that Pateese could go for both, a good show tomorrow, and they’d have to go for it surely. Here’s hoping. I’m just a wee bit wary of how tamely he folded at Cheltenham in The Greatwood, 8 days after his Sandown win. It would be nice if he could get the opportunity to show he’s got what it takes for both though. :wink:

    #395665
    BigG
    Participant
    • Total Posts 9284

    I’m not getting the right vibes about Lucaindubai this morning, I don’t think the ground has gone in his favour. He likes it good and it’s definitely good to soft with soft patches on the hurdle course :(

    I’ve take a little insurance policy on Celtus who will love the ground (won 3 times on soft, 1 on heavy). I took the 16-1 on offer which has pretty much gone although you can still get it with Boylesports and Betfred. He looks a sound e/w bet, with a good chance of winning if back to his best.

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