- Sandown: It’s Imperial Cup Day………………….
- Wolverhampton: Two Live ITV races……..
- TQ Yards Get Ready For The Festival………
- Trainers Quotes: Feilden Fires In Southwell Double……..
Hi, so we’ve finally waved goodbye to the Beast From The East – I wonder what the next act of God will be called!? I heard there’s a ‘pest from the west’ lurking………….
Anyway – who cares!!
IT’S ALMOST THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL!!
Yes, this Saturday we’ve got the Imperial Cup from Sandown and when this race comes around each year we all know that only means one thing – it’s just days left till we get going at Cheltenham.
As always, the Imperial Cup has the added sub-plot of a bonus to connection should the winner go onto land ANY Cheltenham Festival race next week and with the current sponsors – Matchbook – raising that to a whopping £100k then this is a great carrot for connections.
Who was the last horse to do the double? Answers on a postcard……………No, we’ve not got time for any of that, it was, of course, Gaspara in 2007, while before that it was Blowing Wind (1998) and Olympian (1993).
All three had won thing in common – they were all trained by the Pipes!
In fact, the Pipe camp have won the Imperial Cup a staggering 9 times, so we’ll be finding out below if they can make it 10 this Saturday with all the key trends and our thoughts on all four of the LIVE ITV races from Sandown.
We’ve also for two races LIVE from Wolverhampton, plus as this will be the last time we touch base before Cheltenham then be sure to check out our blog area on the site – there’s bundles of Festival content on there and we’ll be adding more as the week goes on!
Have a Great Weekend and have an even BETTER Cheltenham!
This Week At Trainers-Quotes………Another Top Week Topped With a Feilden Double………………….
We’ve had another top week of winners at TQ – especially with the TQ View selections. The Dave Griffiths-trained Warriors Valley has actually rewarded us twice this week with 7/2 and 5/6 victories, while we’ve also seen had Fight Commander (3rd 7/1) and Moody Maggie (2nd 5/1) placed for Oliver Sherwood and Suzy Smith.
Bundles more winners too from the Scott Dixon, Mick Appleby, Oliver Sherwood and Gary Moore teams (see below).
Feilden Fires – However, it was the Julia Feilden yard that stole the show this week with a top 16/1 and 10/1 double that paid a whopping 169/1! Her GO ON GAL and LIMERICK LORD did the business in decent style and both look worth following next time at the track – both were ridden by Shelley Birkett too.
TQ Yards Get Ready For The Festival……………………
It’s set to be a big week at Cheltenham for our jumping yards too and with previous Festival wins to their names we’ll be hoping they can add a few more to their CV’s
Here’s a quick look on who’s got what entered at the moment – but it goes without saying horses might not get in the races or plans could change………..
Of the runners, we know the Gary Moore team think their Benatar will run a big race on Thursday in the JLT Novices’ Chase – we’ll be in touch on the day though for another update as a lot can change in the build-up to the race.
Gary Moore – Tues: Casse Tete (Ultima), Traffic Fluide (Ultima), Weds: Knocknanuss (Coral Cup), Ar Mad (Champion Chase), The Flying Sofa (Bumper), Thurs: Benatar (JLT Novices), Ar Mad (Ryanair), Traffic Fluide (Ryanair), Casse Tete (Brown Advisory), Fri: Sussex Ranger (Triumph), Krugermac (County Hurdle), Graasten (Martin Pipe)
Tim Vaughan – Thurs: Dadsintrouble (Pertemps), Master Dancer (Pertemps), Bells Of Ailsworth (Kim Muir), Fri: Jaunty Flyer (Albert Bartlett), Dadsintrouble (Martin Pipe)
Henry Oliver – Thurs: Ozzy Thomas (Kim Muir), Fri: Dresden (Grand Annual)
Oliver Sherwood – Weds: The Organist (Coral Cup), Thurs: The Organist (Pertemps)
Jamie Snowden – Tues: Double Treasure (Ultima), Three Ways (NH Challenge Cup), Weds: Monbeg Theatre (Coral Cup), Dans Le Vent (Coral Cup), Thebannerkingrebel (Bumper), Thurs: Double Treasure (Brown Advisory), Fri: Dans Le Vent (Albert Bartlett).
Michael Scudamore – Thurs: State Sovereignty (Mares’ Novice)
Here’s a snippet of what members were told this week…………………………
“Warriors Valley – Ran really well off a break last time at Lingfield – the form of that third has since been franked with the winner going in again. Has certainly come on for that run and been working well at home and on the track here at Southwell. Very well-in at the weights so confident of a good run.” 1st 7/2 Dave Griffiths
“Moody Maggie – A nice mare. Ran a good race on debut (2nd Huntingdon) and should improve for the experience. Surface should be fine and so expecting another good effort today from her here.” 2nd 5/1 Suzy Smith
“Something Lucky – Done us proud over the winter and hopeful he can continue that into Spring. Been going close of late despite finding a few too good but did have excuses last time as he was hampered at the start. Archimedes beat us here 4 runs back, but we’ve a nice weight pull for just 3/4 of a length and hoping we can turn the tables here. Loves the surface so should be the one to beat here – looks my best chance on the day. “1st 11/8 Mick Appleby
“Go On Gal – Loves it at Southwell and is usually in the money here. She hated the surface at Chelmsford last time, but she’s in good form at home. The in-form Avocet to beat, but hopefully will be thereabouts again.” 1st 16/1 Julia Feilden
“Limerick Lord – Is very hard to win with but does go well round Southwell. He also hated the surface at Chelmsford last time. The wide draw (8) here is actually perfect for him – it will suit his style of racing, so we hope he has an each-way chance again.” 1st 10/1 Julia Feilden
“Kafeel – Hopefully a reasonable draw (8). Seems in good form at home and should have every chance at a course he’s a proven course and distance winner – should not be far away.” 1st 3/1 Gary Moore
“Warriors Valley – Won easily on Sunday and has come out of that race well to be turned out again quickly. Different surface but has run well here in the past and we are confident of another good run with Oisin Murphy (who rode last time) in the saddle again.” 1st 5/6 Dave Griffiths
“Euxton ran a blinder last time out at Southwell, he finished second to Global Citizen (who after winning the Dovecote now has a mark of 149), he took his time to warm up that day but was doing his best work at the end of the race. The winner hacked up but Euxton beat the others fair and square so hoping for a good run.” 1st 7/1 Oliver Sherwood
Don’t forget the TQ VIEW daily selection is what the team feel is the ‘best quote’ of the day. With over 5 years’ experience speaking to all the trainers they are in no better place to sort the wheat from the chaff!
Yet again more proof that our TQ info that – don’t forget comes direct from the yards each day – is a must-have for any serious punter!
Also, a lot of our members use the TRAINERS-QUOTES info to lay horses as well as back them – there are plenty of angles these days with the betting exchanges!! Or even back other horses in certain races with the trainers also taking about other horses in races they’ve heard good words about!
YOUR direct line through to the UK’s TOP Trainers – EVERY time they have a horse running…
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You can check out all the latest winning quotes on the main site here………..
Sandown: It’s Imperial Cup Day……………….
Sandown Horse Racing Trends (RUK/ITV)
1.50 – European Breeders´ Fund Matchbook VIP “National Hunt” Novices´ Handicap Hurdle Final (Grade 3) Cl1 2m3f173y ITV
15/15 – Had won no more than twice over hurdles before
14/15 – Aged 6 or younger
14/15 – Carried 10-11 or more
12/15 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
12/15 – Rated 129 or less
12/15 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
11/15 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
11/15 – Irish bred
11/15 – Returned 8/1 or less in the betting
11/15 – Unplaced favourites
10/15 – Aged 6 years-old
7/15 – Had won over this trip before
5/15 – Won last time out
2/15 – Won by trainer Nicky Henderson
2/15 – Won by trainer Paul Nicholls
2/15 – Won by the Pipe yard
1/15 – Winning favourites
1/15 – Winners that went onto run at Cheltenham (3rd Martin Pipe)
Minella Awards (8/1) won the race in 2017 (Harry Fry)
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 10/1
TQ VERDICT: A competitive handicap to get the LIVE ITV action going from Sandown but with 14 of the last 15 winners of this race aged 6 or younger, plus ALL of the last 15 winners having won no more than twice over hurdles then these stats should be noted. A top three finish last time out is another thing to look for with 80% of the last 15 winners falling into that bracket. The Dubai Way will catch punters eyes with a string of wins next to his name and as the old saying goes ‘he really could be anything’ – until he’s beaten, we just don’t know. A 4lb rise for this 6 year-old after that latest win looks fair and he’s only up one grade in class. An interesting runner but stepping up from 2m to 2m4f throws up a few trip and stamina unknowns. With a 30% strike-rate at the track with their hurdles then anything the Nicky Henderson yard run here should always be respected – they’ve also run this race in 2011 and 2013. At the moment he’s got recent winners Turtle Wars and INDIAN HAWK (e/w) entered, with the last-named looking his most interesting. Another 6 year-old that got back to winning ways last time out at Warwick after flopping at Doncaster the time before. He had excuses that day though as that race came over 3m in Grade Two company. With confidence restored last time and this 2m4f trip looking ideal then he’s certainly one for the shortlist. Canelo and Al Shahir are others that are respected.
2.25 – Matchbook Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 2m110y ITV
15/15 – Had won no more than twice over hurdles before
14/15 – Had won between 1-2 times over hurdles before
14/15 – Had raced within the last 6 weeks
13/15 – Carried 10-13 or less
12/15 – Aged 6 or younger
12/15 – Rated 124 or higher
10/15 – Carried 10-7 or less
10/15 – Winners that went onto run at the Cheltenham Festival (1 winner, Gaspara – Fred Winter)
10/15 – Had won over at least 2m1f (hurdles) before
9/15 – Winning distance – 3 ½ lengths or more
9/15 – Finished in the top two last time out
7/15 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
7/15 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
6/15 – Raced at either Cheltenham (2), Sandown (2) or Ascot (2) last time out
6/15 – Won last time out
5/15 – Winning favourites
5/15 – French bred
5/15 – Had raced at Sandown (hurdles) before – 2 had won there before
5/15 – Won by the Pipe stable (have won it 9 times in all)
1/15 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
London Prize (10/1) won the race in 2017 (Ian Williams)
The average winning SP in the last 15 years is 10.5/1
TQ VERDICT: Another superb renewal of the Imperial Cup – a race that for many indicates the Cheltenham Festival is now just around the corner! This competitive handicap has always been staged on final Saturday before the Cheltenham Festival and with an added cash bonus for the winner of this that goes onto land ANY Festival race that same season has given the contest an added incentive for connections.
This year the sponsors – Matchbook – are upping the kitty too either by increasing the bonus to a whopping £100k. That move has attracted a decent field of 17 as connections look to become the first horse since Gaspara pocketed the bonus – this David Pipe-trained runner took this in 2007 before adding the Fred Winter a week later.
Olympian (1993) & Blowing Wind (1998) are others do the double – they were also trained by the Pipes!
In fact, the Pipe’s have won the race a record-breaking 9 times in total and four times in the last 13 years – with the most recent of those Baltimore Rock in 2014.
With their decent record anything they run must be respected. They’ve just the one runner this year – FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHT (e/w) – but this 5 year-old certainly looks to have a decent chance. Those against the Pipe horse might cling to the fact the stable are having a quiet season (just 26 winners).
This 5 year-old is still to finish out of the first three from 5 hurdles starts and comes here off an excellent second at Ascot last time. The winner that day was another horse in the race called LE PATRIOTE (e/w) but the Pipe runner only needs to find a length on that form. He’s also 3lbs better off this time, while the drop back to 2m should also help. The pair were 6 lengths clear of the others that day too, which indicates the form is above average and really pinning your cash to both this pair should give us a decent run for our money.
Friday Night Light and Le Patriote both currently have entries in the County Hurdle and Martin Pipe Conditonal Jockeys’ Handicap at the Festival next week.
Of the rest, it’s slightly surprisingly the Nicky Henderson stable have only won the Imperial Cup once before (2009) but it looks like they are going all out this year with two leading hopes. Call Me Lord and Whatswrongwithyou have been popular in the betting since the entries came out and it’s easy to see why. Call Me Lord was a good winner over course and distance in January, and it’s been no secret the Henderson yard think he’ll turn out to be better than a handicapper. There were even Champion Hurdle thoughts at one stage. A recent third in the Grade Two Kingwell Hurdle sort of backs that thinking up and when he won over course and distance he carried 11-12 so is capable of lumping the weight round.
For me, I’d just be a bit concerned this is a better-looking race than the one he landed here in January, while it’s interesting 13 of the last 15 winners of this carries 10-13 or less.
Their other runner – Whatswrongwithyou – gets in with 10-13 thanks to Call Me Lord being in the race. This 7 year-old has done little wrong of late and heads here having won his last two. He’s up just 6lbs from his handicap debut victory at Newbury last month and has also run well over this course and distance (2nd) before. He’s a big player on what we’ve seen and for a 7 year-old he’s actually very lightly-raced with only three hurdles runs. If you are looking for something to take him on with then 12 of the last 15 winners of this were aged 6 or younger.
Fidux and Highway One O One are others that a case can be made for but I have to give a mention to the 9 year-old GASSIN GOLF (e/w). Yes, if you like your stats then he’ll need to defy a few – especially with his age as we’ve only seen one horse older than 8 win this since 1984. However, this is a race he’s gone well in before and, more importantly, he seems to love it here at Sandown.
His form at the Esher track reads 2-3-10-3-3, which is decent. Yes, he was down the field in the race 12 months ago, but he was also runner-up in 2014 and third in 2015. He’s also racing off a mark of 126 this Saturday, which is 7lbs lower than last year. Jockey Richard Patrick continues in the saddle and takes off handy 5lbs so if you are looking for something at a bigger price then you can’t go too far wrong with this proven performer in the race.
3.00 – EBF Stallions/TBA Mares´ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Listed) Cl1 2m110y ITV
14/14 – Had won at least one NH Flat race before
13/14 – 1ST or 2ND last time out
12/14 – Returned 17/2 or shorter in the betting
10/14– Won last time out
9/14 – Had raced within the last 8 weeks
9/14 – Had won just once before (NH Flat race)
7/14 – Aged 5 years-old
1/14 – Winning favourites
Cap Soleil (9/2) won the race in 2017 (Fergal O’Brien)
8 of the last 11 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old
Trainer Fergal O’Brien won the race in 2017
Trainer Warren Greatrex won the race in 2016
Trainer Willie Mullins won the race in 2015
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 13/2
TQ VERDICT: The Fergal O’Brien camp took this race 12 months ago and with a 40% strike-rate at the track in NH Flat races then it’s hard to ignore their runner Belle Amis. Jockey Paddy Brennan is also 2-from-2 riding in these races at the course. Yes, this 5 year-old was beaten last time at Market Rasen after winning well on debut but the heavy ground last time would be a fair excuse to cling to. The Willie Mullins yard have targeted this race in recent years too – winning it in 2015. At his stage they’ve got Colreevy and Relegate entered, but it remains to be seen if they take their chance. If they do the unbeaten Relegate would be the one of most interest. 13 of the last 14 winners of this race finished 1st or 2nd last time out (71% won last time), while ALL of the last 14 winners had won at least once before. The Paul Nicholls-trained Post Trish will be popular having won twice before but was well beaten last time out – albeit in a race won by Didtheyleaveuoutto, who well-fancied for Wednesday Champion Bumper. Dulhallow Gesture is another that punters are sure to latch onto – she’s won her last three. She beat Diamond Gait, who could also line-up here, by 2 ¼ lengths and there looked to be more to come. She’s the most experienced in the field. These races are always hard to unravel with these unexposed horses improving rapidly during the early part of their careers. However, the one I like here is QUEENOHEARTS (e/w). She was a good winner on her second start at Towcester in December and although this is a much better race she did it well by 5 lengths. Connections have given her plenty of time to get over that and being from the Stuart Edmunds camp there could be some value in her price.
3.35 – Matchbook Racing Is Commission Free Handicap Chase Cl3 3m37y ITV
13/15 – Had won over at least 2m4f (fences) before
13/15 – Carried 11-1 or more
13/15 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
12/15 – Had won between 1-4 times over fences
12/15 – Rated between 125-134
12/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
12/15 – Aged 8 or older
10/15 – Placed favourites
9/15 – Unplaced last time out
9/15 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
9/15 – Irish bred
8/15 – Returned 7/2 or shorter in the betting
4/15 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/15 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh
3/15 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
3/15 – Won last time out
2/15 – Trained by Oliver Sherwood
Shanroe Santos (10/3 fav) won the race in 2017 (Lucy Wadham)
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 9/2
TQ VERDICT: We can expect the 14 year-old Pete The Feat to tow them along in his normal fashion and after winning again here over course and distance in December, you never know! He is 6lbs higher than that win though and this looks a more competitive contest. Sam Twiston Davies reunites with Horatio Hornblower – a horse he won on two starts back at Newbury but a 4lbs higher mark makes life tougher and this is his first run at the track – it doesn’t suit every horse. It’s hard to get though from TANIT RIVER, who travelled really well here last time to eventually win easily by 3 lengths. He’s only up 5lbs for that and having won off 127 last year (rated 128 now) he still looks fairly well-handicapped to me. With 11-5 to carry and proven course form then he ticks a lot of the boxes. Finally, last year’s winner – Shanroe Santos – is another that’s sure to be popular and comes here in tip-top form after an easy 13 length romp at Carlisle. He lumped 11-12 round that day so his weight is not a real issue but it is worth pointing out he is 9lbs higher than when winning this last year. Conditions are fine and as the current champ he’s the one to beat. He’ll also come here full of confidence after that recent easy win, however, his last two runs here read UR – PU so we’ll have to see if returning here brings back any good or bad memories.
Wolverhampton: Two Races LIVE on ITV ……….
Wolverhampton Horse Racing Trends (ATR/ITV)
2.05 – Sunbets.co.uk Lincoln Trial Handicap Cl2 1m141y ITV
14/15 – Had raced within the last 6 weeks
14/15 – Aged 6 or younger
13/15 – Won over a mile (or further) before
12/15– Won at least three times before
12/15 – Priced 9/1 or shorter in the betting
10/15 – Placed favourites
9/15 – Ran at Lingfield last time out
8/15 – Came from stall 8 or higher
7/15 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
6/15 – Aged 5 years-old
6/15 – Had won at Wolverhampton before
5/15 – Won last time out
5/15 – Winning favourites
2/15 – Trained by the Richard Hannon yard
2/15 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
Nimir (3/1 fav) won the race 12 months ago
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 6/1
TQ VERDICT: Big Country had a cracking time of it last season but as a result crept up the handicap and draw 10 would not be ideal either. He is 2-from-2 at the track though so that’s a big plus and the Appleby team are sure to have done plenty with him during his break. Pactolus is a consistent sort that should be thereabouts but he’s probably better over a tad further – draw 2 and Milly Naseb’s 5lbs claim are pluses though. Dragon Mall is well-drawn in stall 1 and has been running well of late, while Mr Scaramanga will be fitter than more after some good runs at Lingfield. However, the Richard Fahey camp took this 12 months ago so it’s interesting they run two here – THIRD TIME LUCKY and CONSTANTINO (e/w). Both have decent draws in 4 and 6, but of the two Third Time Lucky looks the better value and is also a proven course and distance winner.
3.15 – Sunbets.co.uk Lady Wulfruna Stakes (AW Championship Fast-Track Qualifier) (Listed Race) Cl1 7f32y ITV
10/11 – Had won over 7f before
9/11 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
9/11 – Had won at least 4 times before
9/11 – Placed favourites
9/11 – Had raced within the last 3 weeks
8/11 – Rated 104 or higher
7/11 – Raced at Lingfield last time out
7/11 – Drawn in stall 7 or higher
6/11 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
6/11 – Unplaced last time out
5/11 – Had won at Wolverhampton before
3/11 – Winning favourite
2/11 – Trained by Marco Botti
Salateen won the race in 2017 (25/1)
TQ VERDICT: The David O’Meara-trained SALATEEN (e/w) took this race 12 months ago so if all 8 stand their ground then this 6 year-old looks the value against another William Haggas hot-pot – Second Thought. Salateen gets 3lbs from the favourite and having won this from stall 12 last year then drawn 8 is not an issue. He likes to blast out and try and make all but with only 8 runners this year (12 last year) he should find it easier to get out and over. Masham Star has a chance on the ratings too, while Early Morning might take the selection on for the lead but Salateen is rated 5lbs higher so should have the measure of that Harry Dunlop runner. Going back to the favourite – Second Thought – he’s 5-from-5 on the AW and with Ryan Moore also booked to ride this one then, of course, he’s the one to beat. However, he does have to give weight away all round and at the prices there doesn’t look too much downside in looking elsewhere for some value – step forward last year’s winner!
THAT’S YOUR LOT!!!
Have a GREAT Weekend