2017 Sandown Imperial Cup Ante-Post Betting Preview

The G3 Imperial Cup takes place at Sandown Racecourse, on Saturday March 11th. This is a 2m 1f contest, over hurdles, for horses aged 4 and up. Our ante-post betting market is already live, so let’s take a look at the runners that are attracting the most bets…

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Golden Spear

This 6-year-old chestnut gelding was sired by Kyllachy and his last 3 victories have all come on Irish soil. Golden Spear won the rich November Handicap, at Leopardstown, beating Nakeeta by half-a-length. He was also 4th (well-beaten) in the G3 Wessex Youth Trust Handicap Hurdle at Ascot and 3rd in a Grade B handicap that was won by Noel Meade’s Ice Cold Soul.

Tudor City

Like Golden Spear, Tudor City is trained by Tony Martin and he finished half a length ahead of his stablemate, at Leopardstown last time out. That effort meant that a trio of consecutive runners-up spots had been secured and the 5-year-old has ended-up the bridesmaid in 5 of his last 11 contests. His last win came at Limerick (October) and that was a modest encounter to say the least. Tudor City has talent but needs to prove he is also a winner.

Air Horse One

After winning on debut at Exeter he quickly became a horse that was expensive to back, but he’s been a revelation since the turn of the year winning all 3 of hi races. Harry Fry’s inmate landed the spoils at both Exeter and Taunton, before notching-up an even more impressive victory at Ascot. He now faces an even sterner test, but he’s in with a real chance on current form.

History Of The Imperial Cup

This race was first run in 1907, when it was regarded as being the most important hurdles encounter of the season. This status was maintained until the introduction of the Champion Hurdle, in 1927.

A cash bonus is on offer to any horse that wins the race and goes on to score at the Cheltenham Festival. Olympian, Blowing Wind and Gaspara all managed to do this. The race was a listed affair, until 2014 when it was upgraded.

Collier Bay

One of the most-famous winners is the 1995 Champion, Collier Bay. Jim Old’s charge would go on to win the Irish Champion Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle, in 1996. Jamie Osborne passed-up the opportunity of partnering Collier Bay, in the Champion Hurdle, opting to ride Mysilv. Graham Bradley was the beneficiary of Osborne’s miscalculation. Bradley allowed himself a wry smile, when he revealed that Osborne “let me have a few expletives when he realised he had chosen the wrong one”!

This famous old contest is always a fantastic appetiser for the Cheltenham Festival and ITV Racing will be broadcasting it live.

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