The Alan King trained Devil To Pay is a hopeful selection in today’s feature race at Sandown, the Paddy Power Imperial Cup.
BetVictor – Enhanced Place Terms
3:15pm Imperial Cup – Sandown (Saturday 10th March)
We are paying ¼ odds a place 1,2,3,4 & 5 in the Imperial Cup at Sandown!
The six-year-old gelding by Red Ransom was last seen when running Sire De Grugy (re-opposes tomorrow) to a half-length in a handicap hurdle at Taunton. He meets that rival on 2lb better terms which should see him reverse placing’s and with normal improvement he is entitled to run a big race.
He has won over further (2m 2f at Fontwell) and will relish tomorrow’s ground which makes him a hopeful selection is what is a very competitive race. He has been well supported on the lead-up to the race (14/1-10/1) and with just 10st 7lb on his back I’d be surprised if he doesn’t at least run into a place.
His main rival is likely to be the ante-post favourite Ted Spread. The Paul Nicholls trained gelding was rated as high as 108 on the flat and even ran in the 2010 Epsom Derby won by Workforce.
Since joining Nicholls’ Ditcheat team, Ted Spread has only managed one win of his three starts over hurdles but admittedly, he was very impressive when last seen at Taunton.
He holds an entry in both the County Hurdle and Martin Pipe Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival next week and if he is to win tomorrow he will surely bid to emulate the likes of Olympian, Blowing Wind and Gaspara and claim the sponsor’s bonus by following up at the Cheltenham Festival.
However, at his current price of 7/2 (Boylesports) he is just too short for such a competitive handicap hurdle as the Imperial Cup and it might not be a bad idea to back him for the County Hurdle (most likely race at Cheltenham) before he runs tomorrow as he will shorten up significantly should he run well.
Of the others, Master Of Arts represents David Pipe and Tom Scudamore and although he hasn’t jumped a hurdle in public since 2009, he has to have a chance on the best of his flat form.
Pipe is sure to have him fit and ready to run and he’ll have plenty of schooling done with him at home, hence is cannot be ruled out. Il De Re (12/1), Chesil Beach Boy (20/1) and Swift Lord (20/1) are all running off the back of recent wins but they have a lot more on their plate this time around.
A horse that may be worth a small E/W at his price is Alan King’s second string Torphichen (25/1) who is a tough and genuine sort who would have a small chance on his best form.