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Friday 15 December 2017

Mccoy can Zip it up

AP expected to warm up for Cheltenham with a win on board ex-Flat campaigner

Rarely has a yard dominated a big race like Pond House has dominated the Imperial Cup at Sandown, the last big one before the Cheltenham Festival, and the Pipes have claimed nine renewals of this race in total.

In 2007, David Pipe claimed the first of his three victories in the race, with his father Martin winning his first of six in 1989 and his sixth in 2005.

Pond House will throw two darts at the board this year, including the favourite Bidorey, a course-and-distance winning four-year-old who has won all four starts since joining Pipe from France last year. The son of Voix Du Nord was also a winner on the level over there too.

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With an official rating of 140 from the handicapper, but getting a valuable four-year-old allowance, it will be very interesting to see if he he can continue the progression and give Pipe a second win in as many years in the race.

Tom Scudamore is the stable preference with Kieron Edgar on Heath Hunter, but it is the former stable jockey at Pond House, AP McCoy, riding in the race for the last time, who is tipped to claim the big race honours aboard the John Ferguson-trained Zip Top.

A former 110-rated campaigner on the Flat and an ex-inmate with Jim Bolger, for whom he won a Leopardstown maiden on debut, Zip Top was fourth to leading Supreme Novices' Hurdle contender Jollyallan on his first start over hurdles and with two wins to his credit since, including a very impressive display at Southwell last time out, Zip Top is the choice to make the most of what could well be a reasonably favourable handicap mark.

With the Cheltenham Festival races really beginning to take shape bookmakers are continuing to give out their special offers and BoyleSports certainly have one of the most appealing offers out there centring around Un De Sceaux.

With most people adopting a theory that Un De Sceaux wins if he jumps around safely, BoyleSports have decided that if he fails to win the Arkle on Tuesday, BoyleSports will refund your stake as a free bet.

Leon Blanche, of BoyleSports, said: "It may look like we have lost the plot a little as punters cannot lose by backing Un De Sceaux but with the Cheltenham Festival a marathon not a sprint, we want our customers to get off to a good start on Tuesday."

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