• Home
  • Horse Racing
  • Sandown trends analysis best bet: High hopes for Making Headway in Imperial Cup

Sandown trends analysis best bet: High hopes for Making Headway in Imperial Cup

Just a few days before the Cheltenham Festival, our trends analyst Andrew of Fiosrach is warming up by picking out some each-way value from the 16 runners lining up for the Imperial Cup at Sandown.

14:25 Sandown: Betfair Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle (2 miles)

Our selection in the Grimthorpe Chase last week was heavily backed once again, and was going a long way towards justifying that support with a good run, and was trading at about 6/4 with the bookies approaching the second last fence.

Unfortunately, he then came to a complete halt and was promptly pulled up. It was almost like someone had removed his batteries and was as inexplicable as it was frustrating.

Setting that disappointment aside, this weekend we are tackling the big race of the day at Sandown – the Imperial Cup, which has 16 runners at the time of writing. 

As usual we have used the trends below to narrow down the field:

  • 19/20 – Had won no more than twice over hurdles 
  • 19/20 – Had won between 1-2 times over hurdles 
  • 18/20 – Had raced within the last 6 weeks 
  • 17/20 – Rated 124 or higher 
  • 16/20 – Carried 10st-13lb or less 
  • 16/20 – Aged 6 or younger 
  • 13/20 – Had won over at least 2m1f (hurdles) 
  • 12/20 – Carried 10st-7lb or less 
  • 12/20 – Went onto run at the Cheltenham Festival (1 winner, Gaspara - Fred Winter) 
  • 12/20 – Winning distance – 3½ lengths or more 
  • 11/20 – Finished in the top two last time out 
  • 10/20 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old 
  •   9/20 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting 
  •   7/20 – Raced at either Cheltenham (2), Sandown (2) or Ascot (2) last time out 
  •   7/20 – French bred 
  •   6/20 – Won last time out 
  •   6/20 – Had raced at Sandown (hurdles) – 2 winners 
  •   5/20 – Winning favourites 
  •   5/20 – Won by the Pipe stable (have won it 9 times in all)

Using the trends above left a shortlist of the three horses below:

Making Headway won last time at Newbury in a Class 3 on heavy ground and looks to be an improved horse. The stable is in reasonable form and Henry Brooke his jockey is in red-hot form with a 27% strike rate over the last fortnight.


Planet Sport Bet Daily Special: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Making Headway finishes in the first 4 places, get a £5 Free Bet

Bad has proven hard to win with, having won just one of his nine hurdle runs, but placing six times. He has won on heavy ground in France and if replicating that form should be thereabouts, but for a horse to be 6/1 in such a tough handicap with just one win under his belt looks to be a short enough price.

Junkanoo won last time following three second places, but he has only had those four runs over hurdles, so there should be scope for improvement, although he takes a double leap in class here and that makes his task exceedingly difficult. The stable and jockey are both going through a cold spell, so it is difficult to take a chance on Junkanoo coupled with that huge jump in class.

There are several other horses more than capable of challenging for this race including Spirit D’Anjou, Go Dante and Jipcot

However, based on the trends we are selecting Making Headway and suggest an each-way bet and look around for extra places.

Suggested best bet: Making Headway each-way in the 14:25 at Newbury

  • Andrew will be back all next week with a trends-related tip from a handicap on each day of the Cheltenham Festival,  before rounding off the week at Uttoxeter’s Midlands Grand National next weekend.


READ MORE: 2024 Grand National ante-post tips: Galvin and Ain’t That A Shame tick the right boxes

More Articles