9th March 2013
Sandown Betting: Pipe to land Imperial Cup again with top weight Tanerko Emery
3.15 Sandown: Paddy Power Imperial Cup (Listed Handicap) (2m110y)
This Saturday at Sandown we have Imperial Cup which carries a £75,000 bonus if any horse can win this race and go on to win next week at the Cheltenham Festival, it has been done three times before by the Pipe yard and David has two entries in this years renewal with Tanerko Emery and Kazlian, both horses are available at 10/1 with the sponsors Paddy Power.
Kazlian has only ran twice this season and disappointed on both occasions but in doing so has dropped a few pounds in the handicap and certainly looks as though he has been laid out for the attempt at the double and stable jockey Tom Scudamore takes the ride. Tanerko Emery is the one that will interest punters on recent form and carries top weight here on a mark of 141. He won here and at Lingfield in December and then ran a fine race in defeat behind Medinas at Ffos Las last time out on his first attempt at a longer trip, he certainly seemed to stay alright but this drop back to two miles wont be an inconvenience and acts on soft ground.
The hot favourite for the race is Mr Mole trained by Paul Nicholls, owned by JP McManus so will have the assistance of Tony McCoy, he has had only three career starts over hurdles but was very impressive when landing his first handicap last time at Taunton, a rise of 12lbs for that looks harsh but he did win very easily and could be an extremely useful sort, I’m not sure he would want two races close together being so inexperienced but first things first and he has to win without having too hard a race. Nicky Henderson as usual is mob handed and saddles three, his best chance appears to be with General Miller, the choice of Barry Geraghty but only one start since August 2011 doesn’t inspire you with too much confidence. He was 9th at Ascot on his comeback from injury the other week and has dropped to a reasonable mark if back to his best. The yards other runners Lyvius and First In The Queue want better ground.
Tominator the useful flat stayer is the second favourite at the moment, he like Mr Mole is very inexperienced over hurdles but has won two of his three starts and last time stayed on well here at Sandown to beat Leviathan, this is much tougher but does only have a rating of 130 which gives him a squeak but he may want further in time to show his best. Another improving novice is Pine Creek from the John Ferguson yard, he’s won his last two races in good style and also has a rating of 130. Just one pound below is last years winner Paintball, to be honest he has done nothing since and wants better ground and the recent rain has probably scuppered his chance of a repeat. Plenty of others have a chance on their best including the bottom weight Barizan who came back to form last time and Claret Cloak if you can forgive him his poor run at Newbury last time out.
The betting suggests this will fall to a novice with Mr Mole and Tominator dominating the betting from either end of the handicap. McCoy usually rides them both and has to ride Mr Mole for his boss here and probably wouldn’t swap him for anything else. He’s a bit short for my liking but wouldn’t put anyone off following him after his very impressive run last time. The Pipe yard have to be respected and of their pair I like the top weight Tanerko Emery who will go in the ground and stays well. Claret Cloak is worth a look for a yard who targets this race and Barizan shouldn’t be forgotten off bottom weight in a very competitive affair.
1pt Tanerko Emery 11/1 Blue Square
1pt Claret Cloak 16/1 Paddy Power
Author: Graham Sarson