The Imperial Cup at Sandown Park is the big race of the day on Saturday and our man Kevin O’Malley fancies a classy Nicky Henderson runner to land the spoils. Here’s why....
2.25 - Call Me Lord 8/1
National Hunt racing is a funny old game. One minute you’re favourite to win a Grade 1, the next you’re running in a handicap and 7th in the betting to win it...while the horse you were supposed to beat in said Grade 1 is on his way to Cheltenham as one of the Bankers of the week. Indeed, Call Me Lord did go off as the market leader for Ascot’s Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle last time out, a race I thought he had at his mercy. Time has shown us that Paisley Park is a monstrous talent over three miles, so Call Me Lord may not have won at Ascot anyway, but he was badly impeded on multiple occasions in that race and is a much....much better horse than he was able to show here.
Call Me Lord had entries in the Champion Hurdle, but was taken out. He is still in the Coral Cup and indeed the County Hurdle. Whether or not he’ll go for either remains to be seen, but if he did win this Imperial Cup, the County Hurdle next week would be a very tempting proposition. However, Call Me Lord has shown his liking for right handed tracks. He won a handicap off top weight in a quick time here last January when he was just a 5yo. He had 4-5 thoroughly decent handicappers carrying a stone and more than he was there, but he dismissed them in the style of a real class act. With course form figures reading 1-1-2-1, it’s pretty clear this horse is tough to beat around Sandown Park and although he is carrying top weight once again here against better horses and is seeking to defy a high BHA mark of 160, I think he is going to run a massive race.
His size will ensure the weight isn’t an issue. His ability to stay further will provides comfort to the punter regarding his ability to get home up the testing Sandown hill, while his class should see him have no trouble returning to the minimum trip. At big prices, Solomon Grey, Blu Cavalier and even Totterdown catch the eye off low weights, with some eye-catching form and figures to their name. But I just feel that Call Me Lord is the class animal here and I’m struggling to envisage him failing to go very well indeed under the brilliant Daryl Jacob.
All prices correct at the time of writing in the GG Tips Den, per the top/joint top prices available on the GG.CO.UK Racecards.
You can get in touch with me via email: Kevin.OMalley@GG.CO.UK OR by finding me on Twitter: @KOM_GGRacing
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