Imperial Cup Betting Tips

The Imperial Cup betting tips given by Betting.org experts say impressive last time out winner Benny’s Bridge is worth a bet to follow-up in the valuable 2m Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Sandown on Saturday, 9 March. Dream Du Grand Val is progressing at a rate of knots and hails from the in-form yard of Nicky Henderson, so is therefore feared most. Top weight Call Me Lord, meanwhile, has a terrific record at the track and appeals each-way. Read our in-depth 2019 Imperial Cup betting tips preview below for full details on these horses’ chances.

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Odds
10/1
Selection
Benny's Bridge
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Betvictor logo
Odds
7/1
Danger
Dream Du Grand Val
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Betfred logo
Odds
8/1
E/W
Call Me Lord
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Benny’s Bridge looks mint in Imperial Cup

The big betting race at Sandown on Saturday is the Grade 3 Imperial Cup (14:25), and Benny’s Bridge looks decent value to defy a rise in the weights land the spoils in a fiercely competitive renewal of the 2m contest. Trained by Fergal O’Brien, this six-year-old shaped with plenty of promise in three novice hurdles before opening his account in emphatic fashion last time out.

That win came on handicap debut in a decent 12-runner class 2 affair at Cheltenham where he was given a sublime ride by Paddy Brennan to beat Flash Of Steel by two lengths, After being held-up at the rear, the son of Beneficial made some headway two from home, but still looked to have a mountain to climb if he was to land a blow.

However, Brennan oozed confidence and Benny’s Bridge was a closing fourth and going well approaching the last. He was then switched left on the run-in and showed a smart turn of foot to readily assert and be well on top at the finish.

Impressive Cheltenham winner

Benny’s Bridge was value for more than the winning margin and it was a very taking performance visually. The third home Flashing Glance has also come out and won since whilst Champagne City, who came fourth, ran a blinder next time up when just touched off by a progressive sort in a competitive contest at Newbury.

That gives the form a strong look and suggests a 6lb rise in the weights for Benny’s Bridge, who ran from 1lb out of the handicap that day, may not be enough to stop him going in again, given the authoritative manner in which he got the job done.

He also remains unexposed and open to any amount of progression and has sneaked into this off bottom weight of 10st. So, with the forecast ground holding no fears, there is nothing not to like about the profile of Benny’s Bridge. We therefore had no hesitation in making him the main selection in our 2019 Imperial Cup betting tips.

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Dream Du Grand Val sure to go well

Champion trainer Nicky Henderson saddles two fascinating contenders in the shape of Call Me Lord and Dream Du Grand Val. The latter had some decent form to his name in France and is feared most having shown progressive form in three outings for the Seven Barrows handler.

After shaping as if needing the run when a not knocked about six-length sixth od 20 to Red Hot Chilly at Cheltenham back in November, the six-year-old scored impressively by 10 lengths at Fontwell despite jumping right at several of the obstacles. The runner-up Arthington is a fair sort who had won his previous start and has since finished a decent second, so that form is certainly not shoddy.

Gone in again at Kelso

Dream Du Grand Val then had little difficulty following-up last time out at Kelso when making virtually all and only having to be driven clear to beat Skiddaw Valleys, who had previously run well to finish third to a horse now rated 133, by seven lengths.

The son of Puit D’or is clearly going the right way and a revised rating of 139 may well underestimate his ability. Dream Du Grand Val also hails from a yard that continues to bang in the winners and is operating at a strike rate of just under 28 per cent in the last 14 days at the time of writing.

Everything points to a big run and Dream Du Grand Val looks sure to make a bold bid to land the hat-trick in a race which should be run to suit. That’s why he rates the main danger to Benny’s Bridge in our Imperial Cup betting tips, where a case can be made for many.

Course specialist Call Me Lord appeals each-way

The aforementioned Call Me Lord has to shoulder top-weight of 11st 12lb, but has a terrific record at the track. The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned gelding boasts course form figures of 1121 and the second came in this race last year when a neck runner-up to Mr Antolini.

He went down all guns blazing in trying to give the winner 25lb and the pair pulled nine lengths clear of the field, so it was a terrific effort and the form is strong. Call Me Lord went on to round-off the campaign with an impressive 16-length success over Lil Rockerfeller in the Grade 2 Select Hurdle over 2m 5f at this venue off an official rating of 157.

The then 161-rated Wholstone a further sixth lengths back in third, so that again is solid form. That stunning victory saw Call Me Lord sent off 7/2 favourite to make a winning return to action in the Grade 1 JLT Hurdle, better known at the Long Walk, at Ascot back in December.

Drop back in trip no problem

However, he failed to live up to expectations when a well-beaten seventh of 11 to current Stayers’ Hurdle favourite Paisley Park. It was an effort which was too bad to be true and Call Me Lord has since been given a break to freshen-up. The fact that he was sent off the jolly for that top grade contest suggests that connections think he is up to winning races at that level.

It makes the 160-rated Call Me Lord very interesting now pitched back into handicap company, despite that fact that he now has to carry 8lb more in weight than he did 12 months ago. He certainly won’t be inconvenienced by the forecast testing conditions and, on course form alone, he commands the utmost respect. Hence, Call Me Lord features as the each-way punt and completes these 2019 Imperial Cup betting tips.

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