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HomeWorldTalking Horses: Knickerbocker Glory can lick his rivals in Imperial Cup

Talking Horses: Knickerbocker Glory can lick his rivals in Imperial Cup


The Saturday before Cheltenham will never be an afternoon for punters to throw money around with abandon but the Imperial Cup at Sandown is generally a race that proves difficult to resist and the latest renewal is no exception, with at least a fair case to be made for all but a handful of the 16 runners.

The field comprises a typical mix of seasoned handicappers and more lightly-raced contenders with scope for improvement, including the handicap debutant Making Headway, who finished 15 lengths behind the winner in a Grade One in December.

His opening mark of 129 looks very fair, but this is a different test to his four starts to date and horses with more experience have definitely had the edge in this race in recent years.

On that basis, the strongly run Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last month could prove to be the key piece of form, and Go Dante, who was eight lengths behind the winner, Iberico Lord, will be a popular choice at around 7-1 as he lines up off the same mark.

Go Dante was less than three lengths in front of Knickerbocker Glory (2.25) at Newbury, however, and Dan Skelton’s front-runner has since been dropped a couple of pounds in the weights. He is also returning to a right-handed track, having put up a career-best to win a hot race at Ascot on his season debut in November.

He has winning form on soft and heavy ground and a useful 3lb claimer in Tristan Durrell to do the steering, and looks over-priced at around 12-1 to return to winning ways.

Sandown 1.50 Hasthing lost his unbeaten record when dropped back to two miles last time but returns to two-and-a-half here and his opening mark looks lenient.

Wolverhampton 2.40 Richard Hannon’s Shouldvebeenaring was both one of the busiest and the most consistent three-year-olds of last season, and made the frame at Group One level on his final two starts. He has twice won off a break too, and while the race-fit Doctor Khan Junior is a tough opponent, the favourite’s class should tell.

Sandown 3.00 Ben Pauling has a decent record in bumpers and though I’ve Madeupmymind is the outsider of his two runners, the form of her debut second behind a useful winner gives her a better chance than the betting might suggest.

Quick Guide

Greg Wood’s Saturday tips

Show

Sandown Park 1.15 Through The Ages 1.50 Hasthing 2.25 Knickerbocker Glory (nap) 3.00 I’ve Madeupmymind 3.35 Kotmask 4.10 Rose Of Arcadia 4.40 Es Perfecto 

Ayr 1.23 Ozzy Cosmo 1.58 Blue Baloo 2.33 Salamanca Bay 3.08 Dance Thief 3.43 Ballycoose 4.18 Gypsey’s Secret 4.53 Yakaleo 

Hereford 1.42 El Granjero 2.17 Inchester D’Amsyl 2.52 Glencassley 3.27 Chanceux 4.02 Hermes Le Gris 4.35 Amelia’s Dance 5.12 Jena D’Oudairies

Wolverhampton 2.40 Shouldvebeenaring 3.15 King’s Code (nb) 3.50 Sense Of Worth  4.25 Lafan 5.00 Al Barez 5.35 Quiet Resolve 6.10 Great Chieftain 6.40 Con Te Partiro 

Chelmsford 5.30 Calcutta Dream 6.00 Sea Ice 6.30 Ten O’Clock 7.00 Beneficiary 7.30 Come On Girl 8.00 Got No Dollars 8.30 Golden Passport

Thank you for your feedback.

Wolverhampton 3.15 There is a lot to like about Johnny Murtagh’s Final Voyage apart from a difficult draw in stall 11 so at the likely prices, King’s Code could be a better bet at around 6-1 to follow up a track-and-trip win in a strong time last month.

Sandown 3.35 Scarface and Kotmask are closely matched on their form at Plumpton last month, but the latter’s proven ability around this track tips the balance.



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