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    Info IMPERIAL CUP TRENDS 2014

    The William Hill Imperial Cup is a 2M ½F listed handicap hurdle run at Sandown on the Saturday (8th March) before Cheltenham. Previous sponsors of the race, Sunderlands, offered a £75K bonus to any winner who went on to win at the Festival the following week and new sponsors, William Hill, are offering £100,000. The double was last achieved by Gaspara in 2007.





    Below we take a look at the past 10 runnings to attempt to find some pointers:



    Age (Win-Place-Runners)
    4yo: 2-1-8
    5yo: 2-5-42
    6yo: 3-9-65
    7yo: 1-11-55
    8yo: 1-4-23
    9yo: 1-0-14
    10yo+: 0-0-4
    Younger horses have fared better in recent years, especially 4yos who have gained 2 wins and a place from 8 runners (which improves to 2 wins and 1 place from 4 runners when only including 4yos priced less than 25/1)
    horses aged 4 to 6: 7-15-115
    horses aged 7 or older: 3-15-96
    Since 2006, 5 of the 6 winners aged 4 or 5 came from the Pipe stable
    2 of 3 winners aged 7+ were novice hurdlers who had been placed in group company on the flat.

    Breeding
    French bred: 4-8-56
    Irish bred: 4-8-61
    British bred: 1-9-63
    German bred: 1-3-20
    Other: 0-2-11
    8 of 10 winners were French or Irish bred, and they only represented 55.4% of total runners.
    The 8 winners aged 4 to 7 were Irish or French bred, 2 winners aged 8+ were German or British bred.
    All three 4yos to win or place were French bred.
    8 of 10 winners were sired by a group 1 winner

    Weight (Win-Place-Runners)
    horses carrying 10-10 or more: 2-16-98
    horses carrying 10-9 or less: 8-14-113
    Lower weights have held sway with the last 10 winners all carrying less than 11-0.
    Top Weight: 7P080000F32 (0-2-11) has been placed in last 2 renewals

    Official Ratings
    horses rated 131 or higher: 1-9-71
    horses rated 121 to 130: 6-17-111
    horses rated 120 or lower: 3-4-29
    In past 7 years horses officially rated 122 to 130 have won 6 of 7 and filled 19 of 28 places.

    Recent/Past Form
    7 of 10 winners finished in the first 3 on last completed hurdles start
    5 of 10 winners won 1 of their last 2 starts (4 of 5 exceptions were placed on 1 of last 2 starts)
    8 of 10 winners had their last run between 16 and 55 days ago
    7 of 10 winners posted their highest RPR last time out (3 exceptions did so on penultimate hurdles start)
    9 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 123+ in last 2 outings
    8 of 10 winners had run 3 to 9 times over hurdles
    7 of 10 winners had run in no more than 2 handicap hurdles (3 exceptions had run in 5 to 11)
    10 of 10 winners had won no more than twice over hurdles in GB&IRE
    6 of 10 winners were novice hurdlers
    10 of 10 winners had run in 1 to 5 hurdles since August
    0 of 10 winners had won a listed or graded hurdle
    7 of 10 winners ran on the flat (6 were rated 77 or higher on flat, other had won both starts in France)
    Only 5 of 10 winners had previously run at Sandown (4 of 5 had 1 start, 2 won & other 2 were placed, other looked likely winner over CD on penultimate start before falling at last)
    2 of 2 winners aged 4 had contested a graded hurdle that season

    Other Races
    2 of 10 winners (last 2) ran in Sign 2000 Celebratory Handicap Hurdle, finishing 3F
    2 of 10 winners won a Taunton Novice Hurdle that season
    2 of 10 winners ran in Betfred Call Us On 08000 221221 Introductory Hurdle, finishing 31

    Trainers
    David Pipe (2-4-11) has carried on the great tradition his father Martin, he has trained the winner in '07 and '08 and his two runners in 2009 finished 2nd and 4th and his 2 runners in 2013 finished 2nd & 3rd. His record with 4yos is 2 wins and 1 place from 3 runners.
    Philip Hobbs (1-3-9) trained the first 2 home in 2010 and also the 3rd place in 2009 & 2011.
    Charlie Longsdon (1-0-1) won it with Painball in 2012 while Laura Mongan (1-0-2) trained a 20/1 winner in 2013 and a 50/1 fifth in 2009.
    Nicky Henderson (1-0-12) trained the winner in 2009.
    Gary Moore (0-3-13), Evan Williams (0-2-4) & Paul Nicholls (0-2-12) have each saddled multiple placed finishers since 2004.

    Price
    4 of 10 winners were sent off favourite, though 4 of last 5 winners went off between 10/1 & 20/1.
    Favourites (4-2-11) have won 4 of last 10, showing a level stakes profit of 7.33.



    Summary:


    Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:


    - French or Irish bred aged 4 to 7 (especially 4 or 5yos from Pipe stable)
    - Carrying less than 11-0
    - Officially rated 122 to 130
    - Finished in first 3 on last start, 21 to 55 days ago
    - Posted an RPR of 123+ on last 2 outings
    - Run 1 to 5 times since August
    - Run 3 to 9 times over hurdles (won no more than twice)
    - Novice hurdlers do well
    - Run in no more than 2 handicap hurdles
    - Won at no higher than class 2 over hurdles
    - Previously won or placed at Sandown (or having first course start)
    - Officially rated 77+ on the flat
    - Trained by David Pipe or Phillip Hobbs.

    Thanks to ganjaman2

    Bald Bouncer (5th March 2014) 


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