Hopes high for Benny's Bridge in Imperial Cup

O’Brien handicapper returns after six-week break

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Fergal O’Brien is excited at the prospect of getting Benny’s Bridge back on the track in this weekend’s Matchbook Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle at Sandown.

It is six weeks since the six-year-old gelding last ran, winning a competitive handicap at Cheltenham, much to the delight of his trainer.

“Benny’s Bridge was very impressive in his first handicap at Cheltenham on trials day,” said O’Brien.

“He ran over two miles, and it looked like a very good bit of placing, but I can assure you there was an awful lot of luck involved!

“We were disappointed when he got beaten the time before at Market Rasen. The handicapper gave him a mark of 119, and he has gone up to 126 now, and I think the handicapper has still been very fair with him.

“We are looking forward to running him at Sandown Park in the Imperial Cup.”

There is £100,000 bonus put up by the sponsors for Saturday’s winner to go and land any race at the Cheltenham Festival.

At the moment, that possibility remains at the back of O’Brien’s mind.

“If he runs well at Sandown we will see about Cheltenham and where he goes next,” said the Naunton handler.

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