2017 Imperial Cup Preview And Tip
The Imperial Cup (Saturday 11 March, 3.00) is a Grade-3 Handicap Hurdle run over 2-miles 110-yards and 8 hurdles at Sandown Park. Its place in the National Calendar, just 3-days before the Cheltenham Festival, may detract somewhat from the quality of the field, but a £50,000 Bonus for any horse that wins it and follows-up at the Cheltenham Festival makes sure it is competitive.
Imperial Cup 10-Year-Trends
- Winners have been aged 4 to 8, with three of the last five aged 5
- Winners have carried between 10-0 and 11-1, with nine of the last ten carrying 10-13 or less
- Winners have been rated between 121 and 135, with the last 8 rated between 124 and 133
- SPs of the winner shave ranged from 11/4 to 33/1, with four of the last 6 returned 10/1+
- Winners last ran between 16 and 92 days before, with six between 16 and 28 days before
- David Pipe has trained 3 of the last 10 winners
- Only 4 of the last 10 winners had won last time out
Runner-By-Runner Guide To The Imperial Cup
Fixe Le Kap
Decent animal, but you have to go back to 1974 to find the last winner who carried 11-12 or more to victory.
Course and distance winner, but both his age and rating means he wouldn’t be a typical winner.
William H Bonney
Feasibly weighted on a mark just 2lb higher than when winning two starts ago, but has to carry more weight than ideal.
Just 1lb higher than when winning two starts ago, but has to be forgiven a poor run when well behind William H Bonney Last time. Has more weight than ideal.
Second in 2014 off 121 and third in 2015 off 132. Now on 133, having been as high as 141, and looks to have been shrewdly plotted at this race by trainer Kerry Lee. Older than ideal at 8, but useful claimer’s 7lb allowance put him within the weight and ratings parameters.
Max Do Brazil
The bookies must be fearing a gamble on this David Pipe horse who has had just one run since arriving from France, when pulled-up behind William H Bonney and Bigmatre. Could be anything.
Been mixing flat racing and jumps racing with good effect, and was sent-off favourite for Listed Hurdle two starts ago but fell. Second on the flat since, and has a chance, if again carrying more weight than most recent winners.
Sent-off 20/1 when third last year, and a 3lb drop in the weights and a 7lb claimer gives him a theoretical chance. He’s 10 though.
25/1 when ninth last year, and no obvious reason why he’ll run better this time around.
Another who finished behind William H Bonney earlier in the season, and overall form doesn’t suggest he’s well enough handicapped to be winning this.
Course and distance winner in a soft race, and overall form looks short of what’s required.
13lb lower than when well-beaten in the 2015 renewal, but had to drop to class-4 to get his nose in front last time, and up 7lb here.
Not Another Muddle
Potential to improve after just 4 runs for trainer who does well here, though not overly in this race.
Imperial Cup Summary
This isn’t the classiest Imperial Cup ever run, and the horse that catches the eye is the twice previously placed Gassin Golf, with the extremely shred Kerry Lee putting booking her excellent 7lb claimer Richard Patrick for the first time. Of the others, Max Do Brazil is feared because the Pipe Stable is synonymous with gambles in this race.
Imperial Cup Tip
Gassin Golf, Each-Way @ 8/1 (Various Bookies) ¼ odds 3 places