The Messenger previews Imperial Cup day at Sandown and he has bets including Indian Hawk and Le Patriote.
Sandown 1.50: Indian Hawk
The EBF Final always throws up a competitive field of budding chasers.
Indian Hawk looks just about the class of the field having won three of his last four starts, his one defeat coming in graded company at Doncaster where the 3m looked too far. However he has looked a class above in his two other races at around 2m4f including on very soft ground at Ludlow. He was far too good for Weebill at Warwick last time and whilst he does have a big weight to carry, there is only a stone’s differential between him and the bottom horse which is not overly taxing.
Sandown 2.25: Le Patriote
A pair of cheekpieces appeared to be the making of Le Patriote at Ascot last month and if the headgear works as well today he looks to have the right profile for the Imperial Cup.
A strong traveller he looks perfectly suited to the demands of a big field handicap and that looked the case at Ascot, albeit over 3m further than today. On his two previous starts in Britain he had again travelled smoothly only to find little off the bridle. However he found plenty with the headgear on at Ascot, albeit he did wander around in front.
I think he is a pretty classy horse and the presence of Call Me Lord in the field keeps the weights compressed and means he has a lovely weight of just 10-9 to carry today and will hopefully give jockey Sam Twiston-Davies a nice boost ahead of the Festival.
Sandown 4.10: The Last But One
Of little account over hurdles, The Last But One has jumped brilliantly for a novice in winning two from two over the bigger obstacles.
He had plenty in hand at Musselburgh when winning there last month by 7l, making most of the running and then won again at Fontwell most recently, when more patient tactics were employed. I think he had more in hand than the 3l margin suggests and if anything still displayed signs of greenness that will be ironed out with more experience.
He does have softer ground to face today, but on his racecourse debut when with Gordon Elliott he did finish second in a heavy ground Limerick bumper so hopefully that will be no barrier to success today.
0.75pts each-way – Indian Hawk – 1.50 Sandown at 10/1 with Sportingbet
1pt each-way – Le Patriote – 2.25 Sandown at 9/1 with Sportingbet and Unibet
1.5pts win – The Last But One – 4.10 Sandown at 13/8 with Betway