It's hard to get overly excited about the racing at Sandown this afternoon with the Cheltenham Festival looming large!

A few shocks yesterday as both Energunmene and Thyme Hill miss the festival but there is plenty of value to be had during four days of very competitive racing next week. Today, we concentrate on the Imperial Cup at Sandown. The ground has gone soft, heavy in places which will suit both our big priced selections especially if this race becomes a dour test of stamina.

Eamon On Cnoic is a horse we know well who has proved frustrating over fences. Trainer David Pipe has switched him back to hurdles this year and the horse is starting to enjoy racing again. His recent record of 212 is showing a consistency much lacking over fences. Fergus Gillard who claims 5lbs has struck up a good partnership with the horse and rides again this afternoon. Eamon On Cnoic will enjoy the soft to heavy ground and is a battle-hardened campaigner at the age of ten years old. He was rated as high as 139 over fences so remains well treated on a mark of 126 over hurdles. Including the jockey claim our selection must carry only 10-1 on his back which is a big positive running up the stiff hill finish on testing ground.

Mack The Man let us down with a no show in the Betfair hurdle three weeks ago. We can forget that effort as he was slow away from the standing start and just plodded around out the back. Today, he has his favourite soft almost heavy ground and Sandown. Mack The Man won a listed hurdle race at this course on heavy ground last season from Protektorat. That is good form and we have yet to see our selection show his best form this season even though he won two runs ago. His handicap mark of 128 looks fine and James Bowen takes over from the suspended Adam Wedge.

Sandown - 2:25

0.5 Point Each Way Eamon An Cnoic 18/1 Paddy Power & Betfair SB, both paying 5 places.

0.5 Point Each Way Mack The Man 18/1 William Hill paying 5 places.


Compare Odds at Sandown 14:25 Betting Odds Winner | Horse Racing | Oddschecker