Today is always the day when you know that the Cheltenham Festival is closing in on us. We’re excited but well aware that time is running out to plough your way through the form of that handicap that always seems to bring you luck.
Imperial Cup day at Sandown has the feel of the warm up act before the main event but there’s plenty of value to be had with bookmakers being pretty aggressive with their pricing ahead of the four day extravaganza.
The Imperial Cup is the main race of the day but we have given it a swerve as the prices look right about the main protagonists. If it was gun-to-head time then I’d side with Regal Encore, who looks a fair bit better than his mark.
But for our selection today we are heading to the lucky last as we rekindle some old memories. It was this time last year that Arbeo landed us a very decent winner in the same race and we’re going back in to back him today despite his bulky price and seemingly loss of form.
He has dropped hugely in the weights this season after some average showings but even then, the handicapper has been pretty lenient in dropping him this far.
He is tenacious little beast when in the mood as shown when wining this race last season off a higher mark. His last run at Sandown was a weird one. He was backed in from 33/1 to 12/1 and was jumping and running well until he stopped with three fences to jump before staying on again when getting outpaced. There was enough to suggest that he may have a race or two in him still on this mark.
Don’t go mad. Advice is to get on with 1pt each way stakes at 8/1.
Profit & Loss Record: Staked: 337pts Returned: 367.42pts P/L: +30.42pts
(Cheltenham ante post book: 2pts West Wizard in Supreme Novices Hurdle 8/1 & 1pts EW Harry Topper in Gold Cup 50/1 & 2pts EW Corrin Wood in RSA Chase 16/1 & 1pt Boston Bob in World Hurdle 11/1 & 2pts Felix Yonger in Arkle Chase & 1pt EW on Kid Cassidy in Champion Chas 8/1 & 2pts EW on Oscar Whisky in JLT Chase 10/1 & 2pts win on First Lieutenant in Ryanair)
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