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Saturday, March 10, 2001


Sandown's fixture today, Saturday, March 10, 2001, with the exciting Sunderlands Imperial Cup the feature, will go ahead after passing an inspection this morning.

Clerk of the Course Andrew Cooper said the course is raceable.

He explained: "We only had 1mm of rain overnight and, although more rain is forecast later this morning, it is not thought to be in threatening quantities.

"I can foresee no problems. The going is heavy on the hurdles course and soft, heavy in places on the chase course."



SANDOWN Going - soft, heavy in places

4.40pm £10,000-added Imber Court Handicap Chase (Class C) 3m 110yds

( L - Ladbroke, T - Tote, H - William Hill)

1)16F-8 FARD DU MOULIN MAS 8-11-10 Merrick Francis - Adrian Maguire - 12/1 (T,H,L)
Looked set to cause an upset when falling two out in last season's Tote Silver Cup at Ascot. Ran better than bare form suggests on his only run this season, at Kempton on October 21. He was lying in second place when making a bad mistake three out and dropped away. He missed the Hennessy Gold Cup with an injury and but has it to do on his first run for 140 days.

2)P7551 REAL VALUE 10-11-04 Gardie Grisselll - Mr Ben Hitchcott (5) - 3/1 (T)
In-form one-time hunter chaser who won at Sandown on February 16 by four lengths and has the services of leading amateur Ben Hitchcott. Stays well and heavy going should not be a problem. although the bookmakers are taking no chances,

3)/2/9B WADE ROAD 10-11-02 Henrietta Knight - Jim Culloty -20/1 (H,T)
A very decent chaser who has been plagued by injury. Has shown little in two outings this season but takes a lot to get fit.

4)16-52 CHEERFUL ASPECT 8-10-13bl Henry Daly - Mark Bradburne - 6/1 (L)
Solid handicap chaser who will enjoy the testing going at Sandown. Ran well last time when coming with a late flourish behind Eltigri at Haydock on February 10. Has had a heart problem occasionally in the past but is potentially very useful and is worth taking a risk with.
5)5-P47 BRAVE HIGHLANDER 13-10-10 Josh Gifford - Philip Hide - 12/1 (T)
Now veteran chaser who is once again being aimed at the Martell Grand National, in which he finished fourth last season. Relishes a real stamina test and would benefit from an extra mile here although ran creditably when fourth on his penultimate start.

6)1F813 RAFFLES ROOSTER 9-10-08 Venetia Williams - Norman Williamson - 13/2 (L)
A dual winner this season who finished third when amateur ridden on his last start but gets on very well with Norman Williamson, who is back in the saddle, and should not have any worries about stamina or ground. It is more to do whether he is well handicapped or not.

7)32271 PICKET PIECE 10-10-06 Richard Phillips - Richard Johnson - 4/1 (L)
Beat two finishers home when successful by 17 lengths at Leicester last time out on February 27. His jumping has been a problem in the past but appeared much more fluent on his latest run although he does not represent much value being comparitively inexperienced over fences.

8)28861 EVEN FLOW 12-10-03 Terry Casey - Leighton Aspell - 7/1 (L,T)
Terry Casey's charge won his first start since December, 1998, when successful last time at Fontwell on February 19. He was not unfancied on that occasion, but this is likely to be a much stronger heat and he is probably best watched today.

9)44213 LUKE WARM 11-10-02 David Gandolfo - Timmy Murphy - 9/1 (L)
Luke Warm has won twice this season for trainer David Gandolfo, most recently at Towcester in December. On that occasion Timmy Murphy gave the 11-year-old a peach of a ride and since then the Nearly A Hand gelding was unable to defy a 5lb increase by the handicapper at Newbury later in the same month. Goes well when fresh, not out of it..

Despite having only nine runners, this is an open and fascinating event. CHEERFUL ASPECT has a lot going for him and is good value each-way.

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