1, 2 Buckle My Shoe! It’s ok people, I’m not regressing back to my childhood, I’m just using the famous Nursery Rhyme to tell you that I’m backing 2 horses in the Imperial Cup.
The Imperial Cup is a decent handicap over 2m at Sandown. Hopefully there will be sufficient pace in the race to avoid the muddling handicaps we have seen recently such as the Betfair. If there is, then we should see a trademark finish at Sandown with 6 horses fanned out coming to the last and a storming run down the outside collecting the cash.
With that in mind, I’m approaching this with the two pronged attack of Some Buckle and Thistlecrack. 2 novices who I believe are highly regarded by connections, judged by their campaigns thus far.
Firstly Some Buckle. After running third in a Doncaster NHF race, behind, it may be added, two very talented horses, he was sent to Punchestown for their Grade 1 Bumper. He found that too hot at that stage of his career, but it was an early indication that he was talented. He began this year with a smooth success in a Maiden hurdle, before making Glingerburn pull out all the stops, over today’s trip of 2m at Doncaster. That winner has since won two graded races with ease and is rated 152. Some Buckle runs today off 135, surely a mark on the cautious side. Following that run, he ran over 2m5f at Cheltenham in a good novice. He looked likely to take part in the finish when storming to the front approaching two out, but his stamina gave way and he faded late on. Still there was no disgrace in that performance and it clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed by connections that the return to this trip will suit better.
Secondly Thistlecrack. He too ran in the above mentioned Cheltenham race and whilst he travelled strongly for the majority of it, his stamina gave way 3 out and he was eased heavily. Before that he won very easily at Wincanton, but it is his subsequent Ascot success that marks him down as a potential top performer. It was only a small field that day but it had 3 quality horse in it, Otago Trail who was unbeaten at that point, Saint Charles who has some good entries and Thistlecrack. Thistlecrack was backed on the day as though defeat was out of the question and with R. Walsh on board, he was ridden confidently throughout. Even when he lost his pitch down the back straight, Ruby sat quietly. He got to work approaching two out and the response was electric. The way this horse stormed up that Ascot straight, suggests this hill will be right up his street. Aidan Coleman takes over the reigns today and that is no negative as he is a top jockey.
So I’m looking forward to giving the bookies the old 1,2 today by taking out the Imperial Cup,
Saturday 7th March Best Bets
3.10 Sandown – Thistlecrack @ 14s with bet365
3.10 Sandown – Some Buckle @ 14s with bet365