Two of tomorrow’s Sandown runners could end up with 50k prize bonus

Fixe Le Kap, jockey in green, is in this afternoon’s Imperial Cup hoping to win before going on to C

Fixe Le Kap, jockey in green, is in this afternoons Imperial Cup hoping to win before going on to Cheltenham. - Credit: PA

Any horse winning today’s Matchbook Imperial Cup at Sandown and following up to score at the Cheltenham Festival which starts on Tuesday, will earn connections a £50,000 bonus.

It was a special double achieved by Olympian in 1993, Blowing Wind in 1998 and Gaspara in 2007, trained by Martin and David Pipe.

Tomorrow’s £70,000 Imperial Cup, off at 3pm, has a couple of runners who could repeat the feat in Fixe Le Kap and Kayf Blanco.

Strapping grey Fixe Le Kap has been absent since finishing eighth in last year’s Fred Winter. Daryl Jacob rides for trainer Nicky Henderson.

Trainer Graeme McPherson is enjoying his best season and his consistent Kayf Blanco was fifth in the Betfair Hurdle last time. He was also a solid seventh in the County Hurdle 12 months ago and would need to win the Imperial Cup and pick up a 5lb penalty to make that race. Kielan Woods rides.


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One horse who could dash the hopes of both is Gassin Golf, well regarded under seven-pounder claimer Richard Patrick for trainer Kerry Lee.

ITV Racing’s live coverage from Sandown starts with the 1.50pm EBF Matchbook Novice Handicap Hurdle Final which features 16 runners.

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There are no less than six last time out winners in the field and three with good chances are Full Irish, under Jacob for trainer Emma Lavelle, The Mighty Don from Nick Gifford’s yard, ridden by Leighton Aspell, and Another Venture, a good each way selection under David Bass for Kim Bailey.

Well fancied for the eight-runner 2.25pm Matchbook Chase is the Alan King trained and Wayne Hutchinson ridden Willoughby Hedge, a winner at the Esher course just three weeks ago.

There are also plenty of previous winners in the line up for the 3.35pm Mares’ Open NH Flat race.

Rebecca Curtis saddles Just A Thought under Aidan Coleman while Petticoat Tails under Gavin Sheehan goes for Warren Greatrex.

ITV also shows the feature from Wolverhampton’s all-weather track, the 3.15pm Lady Wulfruna Stakes over seven furlongs.

Favourite is Yuften, last seen winning for trainer Roger Charlton and jockey Andrea Atzeni at Ascot in October.

Interesting rival is Eltezam under Sean Levey for Richard Hannon, the horse last seen 611 days ago when fourth in the Arqana July Stakes at Newmarket in July 2015.

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