Monday 19 March 2018

Williams looks to have De measure of Imperial Cup

VALUE-seekers could do a lot worse than following Ile De Re in the Paddy Power Imperial Cup at Sandown.

Most of the pre-race attention has revolved around the

entries from the David Pipe and Paul Nicholls’ stables, and this

six-year-old grey has almost been discounted in certain quarters.

Given his hot run of form, it could prove a bad miscalculation.

Trained by the capable Ian Williams, Ile De Re returns to Esher in pursuit of a hat-trick, having easily won two novice hurdles. His last victory over this course and distance was especially pleasing as he was clearly unsuited by a stop-start pace before fighting back to score by half a length.

Wolverhampton is basking in the kudos of one of its biggest meetings of the season, with focal points being the William Hill-sponsored Wulfruna Stakes and the Lincoln Trial Handicap.

The seven-furlong Wulfruna does not look a vintage renewal this year, sadly, but Docofthebay is often a danger at Listed

level and would certainly not be winning out of turn again.

Given his advancing years, Docofthebay now lacks an engine to get seriously busy when a race is not run to suit.

That might be a reason why Dixon has decided to go back up to seven furlongs with this chestnut son of Docksider.

And while he must concede weight to all 11 of his opponents, he is the obvious pick on all known form.

The William Hill Lincoln

Trial Handicap is no less an easier conundrum to solve,

but Loyalty is almost certainly worth a little each-way interest.

The same can be said of

Nelson Du Ronceray, who competes in the Dr John Cleland Retirement Handicap Chase at Ayr.

Trained by the little-known Iain Jardine, this 11-year-old simply adores Ayr. The determination he showed winning here a couple of months ago suggests he could be strong enough to overcome a 7lb rise.

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