Mole imperial run in limbo as connections consider options

Supporters of ante-post favourite Mr Mole have been advised to hold their bets on Paul Nicholls’ charge in the Paddy Power Imperial Cup at Sandown on Saturday.

Connections of the lightly-raced five-year-old, owned by JP McManus, have yet to decide whether to take up either of his engagements on the same card.

He also holds an entry in the EBF paddypower.com “National Hunt” Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final at the Esher track.

“Mr Mole is in the Paddy Power Imperial Cup and the other race and we will see how he is and I’ll be speaking to Paul tomorrow evening or Thursday and a decision will then be made by Paul where he wants to go,” said McManus’ racing manager, Frank Berry.

“I would say that punters should definitely hold their bets for the Imperial Cup until the decision is made as to which race is best.

“The horse jumped well and won nicely last time at Taunton and you’d have to be pleased with that and he wouldn’t mind what the ground is like.”

Mr Mole also holds an entry in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at next week’s Cheltenham Festival.

Paddy Power are putting up a £75,000 bonus for the winner of the Imperial Cup to go on and land any race at the Festival.

“As for the County Hurdle, let’s get Saturday out of the way first,” said Berry.

McManus could instead be represented in the Imperial Cup by the Philip Hobbs-trained Thunderstorm, who has won his last five races.

“He has come out of his last race at Taunton well and Philip will see how the ground and weather is tomorrow and make a decision then,” said Berry.

“He has been running on easy ground all the time. He’s had a few problems over the years and definitely prefers easy ground.”

Paddy Power Imperial Cup

Sponsors bet: 4-1 Mr Mole, 8-1 Tanerko Emery, 10-1 Pine Creek, Shammick Boy, Steps To Freedom, Stone Light, Tominator, Thunderstorm, 12-1 Shotavodka, 14-1 bar.

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