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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum