Punters are kept guessing by Pipe

Martin Pipe provided precisely no assistance yesterday to punters pondering the trickiest race of the weekend, tomorrow's William Hill Handicap Hurdle at Sandown. The champion trainer, who does so well in this type of race, on Monday entered a quintet of possible runners for the £50,000 contest and yesterday refused to clarify his running plans.

Martin Pipe provided precisely no assistance yesterday to punters pondering the trickiest race of the weekend, tomorrow's William Hill Handicap Hurdle at Sandown. The champion trainer, who does so well in this type of race, on Monday entered a quintet of possible runners for the £50,000 contest and yesterday refused to clarify his running plans.

His typical block entry - only Aidan O'Brien on the Flat loads more ammunition into his scatter gun - has resulted in leading bookmakers other than the sponsors declining to risk opening an ante-post book on the race.

The problem for punters is that weight of money indicates that two of Pipe's five entries have live chances. His Cheltenham winner Rodock, a novice who has the potential to emulate the trainer's Make A Stand by graduating through the handicap ranks to the Champion Hurdle, was put in as the 2-1 favourite but has still attracted money and is now down to 7-4. Meanwhile Pipe's Copeland was cut from 13-2 to 11-2 yesterday, having started the week at 10-1

Speaking at Wincanton yesterday, Pipe's less than helpful contribution was: "Tony McCoy goes to Sandown on Saturday and I suppose we'll have to find him a ride in the race.

"I understand Copeland has been heavily backed but by who I don't know as they are only guessing - I haven't made my mind up as to what runs.

"As always, there are the owners to consider [Hit And Run, Miss Fara and Star Of Dungannon are his other entries]. I will speak to them tonight and make up my mind in the morning."

One jockey booking that is certain, though is that of McCoy for Henrietta Knight's Edredon Bleu in the Tingle Creek Chase 35 minutes before the big hurdle. Jim Culloty, Knight's stable jockey, has partnered the seven-year-old in both his races this season, but the gelding's trainer has reaffirmed that Edredon Bleu will always be McCoy's ride if he is available.

Carl Llewellyn, who returned to race-riding only yesterday at Leicester after being stood down for three weeks with concussion following a fall at Ludlow, has landed the ride on Celibate in the Tingle Creek.

A ludicrous clash in timing between the Tingle Creek and Chepstow's feature, the Rehearsal Chase, has been averted after the intervention of the British Horseracing Board.

Both races were scheduled to start at 2.30pm, but yesterday the BBC agreed to a switch which will mean the Rehearsal is run at 2.35pm.

The BHB Chief Executive, Tristram Ricketts, said: "We are extremely grateful to the BBC for the flexibility that they have shown. The BBC have acted in good faith throughout and it is wrong to suggest, as one newspaper did this morning, that they were to blame for the potential clash.''

David Nicholson's training career, which has spanned over 30 years, came to an end yesterday when Castle Owen finished third to Storm Of Gold in a Market Rasen novices' chase.

Nicholson, who handed over the reins of his Jackdaws Castle training establishment to his assistant of 12 years, Alan King, from midnight last night, first took out a licence to train in 1968 after being a successful jockey when he rode over 600 winners, the best of which was Mill House in the 1967 Whitbread Gold Cup.

It was King who represented his mentor at the Lincolnshire track, with Nicholson having said his farewells at Plumpton on Wednesday.

King said: "It's a shame he couldn't finish on a winner but the horse jumped into the back of Storm Of Gold at the last ditch which didn't help."

King starts as a fully-fledged trainer at Sandown today when he saddles Zafarabad and Baronet. One of the stars in his care is the Hennessy Gold Cup runner-up, Spendid, and he added: "Spendid is fine - A1 - after the Hennessy. The King George VI Chase is a possibility for him."

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game