Racing: Squeeze on Lemon's Mill

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The Independent Online
OLYMPIAN, winner of last year's Imperial Cup, remains a strong favourite for Saturday's running of the race despite heavy betting yesterday for stablemate Lemon's Mill.

William Hill cut the price of Lemon's Mill to 7-1 from 14-1. The bookmaking firm said it had laid Martin Pipe's mare to lose more than pounds 100,000, including one bet of pounds 1,500 at 8-1.

Among the 19 entries for the Sandown handicap hurdle, Pipe also has Olympian, Her Honour and Lynch Law. But his stable was reluctant yesterday to confirm running plans. 'Nothing has been finalised yet and we can't tell you riding plans,' a spokeswoman for the champion trainer said.

Olympian is still favourite for Saturday. The Tote had made the top offer of 9-2 about him, but yesterday cut the price to 7-2. That left the race sponsors, Sunderlands, best at 4-1.

Batabanoo, set to carry top-weight of 11st 10lb, is by no means guaranteed to face the starter. His trainer, Mary Reveley, said: 'I wouldn't like to say one way or the other whether he will run. We're worried about him having to carry a big weight and the possibility of soft ground.'