Horse Racing: Pipe Up for the Gold Cup

Article excerpt

Byline: By LEIGH GLOSSOP

MARTIN Pipe has endured a disappointing season by his own high standards but he can bow out on a high with Puntal in the betfred Gold Cup at Sandown.

The Grade Three contest marks the end of the jumps season and Pipe's runner looks primed to repeat his success of two years ago.

Pipe's string are just starting to run into some form and Puntal proved that to be true when running a blinder in the John Smith's Grand National earlier this month.

Absent for over 400 days before returning at Aintree, Puntal ran a very creditable sixth and he starts off exactly the same mark as when successful here in 2004.

His absence means he comes into this race a much fresher horse than some of his opponents and he could well join Ad Hoc, Topsham Bay, Larbawn and Diamond Edge as dual winners of the three-mile-five-furlong contest.

Also on the card at the Esher track is the Group Two betfred.com Mile, which could enable Momtic to make the transition from handicap company into Group class.

William Jarvis's five-year-old has an impressive record over this course and distance, having made the frame on each of his three starts, looks likely to take the step up in grade in his stride. …