This weekend’s horse racing tips centre on the Imperial Cup (Saturday 7th March 3.10pm) which is a 2-mile handicap hurdle; one that offers a sizeable prize and an even bigger bonus to the winner if they can go on and win a race at next week’s Cheltenham Festival.
The most noticeable statistic when analysing the last ten renewals is that all 10 winners have carried 10-13 or less, as did 7 of the 10 previous winners, too.
Trainer David Pipe has won the race three-times in the last 10 years, whilst big-time trainers Nicky Henderson and Philip Hobbs have also won one each. However, five smaller trainers have also won one, with two of the last four winners being trained by lady trainers.
All winners in the last ten years have been aged between 4 and 8 with 6-year-olds winning 3 times, whilst 5-year-olds have won 2 of the last 3. David Pipe trained both 4-year-olds to win the race.
The top 7 horses all carry over 11-0 and, even thought it might they include likely second favourite Calipto and the potentially thrown-in Camping Ground, according to the statistics they offer no value at all.
With that in mind here’s the analysis for some of the more fancies runners.
A 4-year-old trained by David Pipe and has won all four starts. His last two wins have been on right-handed courses, including his last win which was over course and distance, and he could have miles of improvement left in him.
West Wizard 12/1
Nicky Henderson also has a potentially well-handicapped horse, and the likely mount of Barry Geraghty is also at the right end of the weights. Completely unexposed after just 4 runs and done all his racing right-handed.
Zip Top 14/1
The probable mount of AP McCoy; who’d love to ride a sixth winner of the race before he retires. That’s quite possible too as Zip Top looks feasibly weighted on some of his flat form, however his two runs right-handed have been average and he’s never seen a hill like the Sandown Hill.
Chieftans Choice 16/1
Fell when going off at 16/1 for the Betfair Hurdle and has never raced right-handed. Interesting though that he won well at a stiff course like Hexham.
Won three of his four races going right-handed, but the form of the Tizzard stable is a worry.
Fascino Rustico 16/1
Comfortably outstayed Zip Top at Newcastle before falling in the Betfair hurdle. Has the potential to be much better but not proven going right-handed.
Having tried really hard to find a couple of outsiders to take on the favourite – I haven’t. Bidourey looks to have everything going for him including his trainer, his right-handed form, age and the weight he’ll carry. The only choice was whether to go win or each-way, but at 13/2 there’s enough juice to be happy with a profit even if gets placed.
5 points each-way Bidourey @ 13/2 (Skybet)