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2021 Imperial Cup Tips - 9/2 and 20/1 tips for Sandown on Saturday

  • We've taken a look through the field set to run in the 2021 Imperial Cup
  • This Grade Three Handicap Hurdle is the feature race at Sandown on Saturday 13th March
  • Natural History is the 3/1 favourite with sponsors Paddy Power
  • Langer Dan and Mack The Man are our each-way tips
mack the man sandown
Mack The Man (centre) winning a very good race at Sandown last season. (Getty)

The final Saturday before the Cheltenham Festival is headlined by the Imperial Cup, a handicap hurdle which was first run at Sandown Park in 1947. Last year's race was abandoned due to a water-logged track. Thankfully, the weather gods have been very kind this time around, and a quality field looks set to line up in this thrilling handicap.

We've taken a look through the current Imperial Cup betting and listed some key trends before picking out two horses to back.

2021 Imperial Cup Odds

Natural History3/1
Langer Dan9/2
Highway One O Two9/1
One True King9/1

*Odds taken from Paddy Power on 12/3/21*

2021 Imperial Cup Trends

  • 21 of the last 25 winners carried 10-13 or less
  • 20 of the last 25 winners were either five, six or seven-years-old
  • 14 of the last 15 winners had won no more than two hurdles races
  • 14 of the last 15 winners ran during February
  • 12 of the last 15 winners were rated at least 125
  • 11 of the last 15 winners went off at 7/1 or bigger
  • 1 of the last 10 winners went off as the favourite
  • 10 of the last 15 winners won or placed last time out

Natural History tops the market, having got off the mark over hurdles in a handicap at Plumpton two weeks ago. The handicapper has pushed this former 100-rated flat racer up 16 pounds to a fresh mark of 132. The form of his Plumpton win doesn't look strong at all, and given the poor recent records favourites have in the Imperial Cup, I'm happy to take Natural History on.

2021 Imperial Cup Tip 1 - Langer Dan

Langer Dan E/W2021 Imperial Cup Tip 1GET 9/2 HERE
18+ only. Ts and Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.

Backing a young, unexposed hurdler in the bottom half of the weights is clearly the way to go. LANGER DAN fits the bill in that regard and could be very well-treated.

Having won twice during the early stages of his juvenile campaign, Dan Skelton's charge stayed on to place sixth in the Boodles Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and could even have placed had he not run into traffic problems.

Bridget Andrew's mount then couldn't get involved after a mistake at the third-last on his reappearance, and failed to see out 20-furlongs second time out at Plumpton. Last time out at Market Rasen, Andrews made no real attempt to trouble the leaders, but made eye-catching late progress to finished a six-length fourth.

Langer Dan has now dropped down to an appealing mark of 130, meaning he will carry just 10-10 into this handicap. Skelton's charge goes well right-handed and enjoys good ground.

He was a solid each-way option when I tipped him up at 7s. Langer Dan has since been backing into 9/2, which is a good sign!

2021 Imperial Cup Tip 2 - Mack The Man

Mack The Man E/W2021 Imperial Cup Tip 2GET 20/1 HERE
18+ only. Ts and Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.

I'm also going to take a punt on MACK THE MAN, who's been dangerously overlooked in the betting.

Evan Williams' seven-year-old won the Listed December Handicap Hurdle here at Sandown last season, beating Protektorat and future dual-Grade Two winner, Song For Someone. Adam Wedge's mount was still in contention on his next start in the Betfair Hurdle, but was brought down by the falling Lightly Squeezed at the final flight.

After a couple of terrible jumping performances over fences, Mack The Man returned to hurdles at Wincanton in January, where he secured a snug victory off a mark of 127. Williams' charge was one of the last to cross the line in the Betfair Hurdle this time around, but he'd been eased down entering the home straight, and the handicapper has reacted by dropping his mark four pounds down to 128. 

Off that rating, Mack The Man can be very competitive on his return to Sandown.


Langer Dan has the ideal profile for this race, and has been backed in from 7s to 9/2 since we published our tips.

To me, Mack The Man shouldn't be a 20/1 shot, so I'll have a small saver on this former course winner.

2021 Imperial Cup Tip 1: Langer Dan Each-Way @700.00 at BetMGM - 10 Units
2021 Imperial Cup Tip 1: Mack The Man Each-Way @2000.0 at PlaySugarhouse Sport - 5 Units

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