Cheltenham must be nearly here as it is Imperial Cup day at Sandown. One of the leading 2 mile handicap hurdles of the season but one with a penchant for the unexpected.
We have regularly tipped the Sophie Leech trained Man Of Plenty as an each way proposition this season. He has been slogging around of a similar mark to this landing us a nice 28/1 Haydock second, but then narrowly missing with figures of 5547 since in a series of top handicaps. He is a hard horse to win with, but is likely to travel well into the race and again seems to have been ignored in the betting.
That is not the only Leech runner though, as she also throws the ex-Henderson Birch Hill into the mix. After pulling up on season’s debut he had an extraordinary turn around in form when fairly sprinting away with a minor Huntingdon handicap last time.
That may not have been much of a race, and he has been lumbered with an additional 11lbs, but the style of the win was memorable. Until then he had been campaigned mostly on good ground, and the mixed weather forecast here could be cause for some concern but that is being amply rewarded in some monster odds.
Both Leech runners can be backed at a huge 40/1 or more. It seems sensible to cover the options, so we will split stakes and hope the stable hit the target with one of the pair, with the larger stake on the potentially unexposed Birch Hill.
Birch Hill (1425 Sandown), 0.5pts each way, 40/1 Ladbrokes;
Man Of Plenty (1425 Sandown), 0.25pts each way, 50/1 Paddy Power (5 places)
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