Scottish Daily Mail

Pipe’s Imperial Bid for Festival

- by SAM TURNER

The PIPE family have a happy habit of farming the William hill imperial Cup and BIDOUREY (Sandown, nb, 3.10) could follow i n the hoof steps of Medison, Gaspara, Ashkazar and Baltimore Rock by landing today’s feature.

Two of the quartet, all successful in the past decade, were juveniles like the selection and there is little doubt the Nicholasha­yne operation will have an eye on next week’s Cheltenham Festival, and in particular the Fred Winter handicap hurdle, with the imposing French recruit should he prevail today.

indeed, pocketing this race before heading to Prestbury Park has been a well-trodden path for Pipe winners with Gaspara following up in the Fred Winter. Ashkazar was narrowly denied but Bidourey looks to have the Pipe profile for a tilt at both events.

Quietly nurtured in low-key events, Bidourey has been accomplish­ed over hurdles in the main, picking up valuable experience this winter, including on two right-handed stiff tracks in Leicester and today’s venue last time.

his latest victory was little more than an open goal but it confirmed the track holds no terrors and the only slight reservatio­n is the drying ground.

in such a fiercely competitiv­e handicap, dangers abound and the likes of Zip Top at the foot of the weights with AP McCoy booked, and fellow novice Arzal, who ran so well in the Betfair hurdle, are both respected.

The prospect of a dry forecast has encouraged officials at Cheltenham to start a selective watering programme ahead of the Festival. Clerk of the course Simon Claisse will apply 3-4mm of irrigation by tomorrow morning in an effort to maintain the current going descriptio­n of good to soft, good in places.

Don Poli will contest the RSA Chase after owners Gigginstow­n house Stud committed their six-year- old for the novices’ gold cup in preference to the longer National hunt Chase.

Fellow Gigginstow­n inmate Very Wood will join Don Poli in Wednesday’s event with Wounded Warrior and Thunder And Roses carrying the owner’s colours in the National hunt Chase on day one.

 ??  ?? Double hope: David Pipe’s Bidourey
Double hope: David Pipe’s Bidourey
 ??  ??

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