Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pipe's the Form Trainer for Test at Sandown

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pipe's the Form Trainer for Test at Sandown

Article excerpt

Byline: By Tom Peacock

Minds are very much focused on the following week's Cheltenham Festival as punters cast their eyes over ante-post portfolios, trainers add the final touches to their star performers and jockeys just try to stay safe and injury-free.

However, there is still a week of racing to be completed, including the traditional two-day Sandown meeting, with next Saturday's Sunderlands Imperial Cup always sure to whet the appetite. The extended two-mile handicap invariably has the bookies running scared of the mercurial Martin Pipe, who has won the race three times since 1998.

The winner is inevitably targeted at the following week's Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle, a tough double, but one achieved by Pipe with Blowing Wind seven years ago.

A good card at the Esher track also features two other valuable prizes with clues for the future, with both the finals of both the EBF Sunderlands `National Hunt' Novices' Handicap Hurdle and the mares' only bumper, while Friday's Alvis Grand Military Gold Cup is another to be keenly contested. …

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