Pipe relies on Master for Imperial bid

David Pipe is responsible for just one of the 37 entries for the Paddy Power Imperial Cup at Sandown on Saturday.

Pipe and his father, Martin, have won this Listed affair six times within the last 14 years, with Master Of Arts this season due to fly the flag for the Pond House operation.

The seven-year-old gelding has returned to Pipe following a stint on the Flat with Mark Johnston, but was three years ago considered good enough to run in the Triumph Hurdle.

Master Of Arts also holds an entry in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Imperial Cup inevitably has a huge bearing on some of the big handicap hurdles at Cheltenham, with a £75,000 bonus on offer from the sponsors if the winner can double up at the Festival – a feat last achieved by Pipe’s Gaspara in 2007.

Other engaging candidates include the Paul Nicholls duo of Ted Spread and Hinterland, the David Arbuthnot-trained Starluck and recent Taunton scorer Sire De Grugy.


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