Ante-post favourites Mack The Man and Shakem Up’Arry top 19 declarations for the Paddy Power Imperial Cup at Sandown.
Evan Williams’ Mack The Man was brought down at Newbury last time out, while Shakem Up’Arry was well beaten by Supreme favourite Shishkin on his most recent outing.
Main Fact, the mount of 7lb-claimer Fergus Gillard, represents David Pipe on Saturday as he bids to bring up his five-timer in the Grade Three heat – which boasts a £100,000 bonus if the winner goes on to be successful at next week’s Cheltenham Festival.
The bonus has been won three times, all by the Pipe family. Father Martin won it twice – in 1993 with Olympian, who went on to win the Coral Cup, and Blowing Wind who followed up in the County Hurdle in 1998.
Son David then took over the licence, and the mare Gaspara landed the pot in 2007 – winning the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, now known as the Boodles.
Christopher Wood and Entoucas are notable absentees at Sandown, with Totterdown now heading the weights for Fergal O’Brien as Paul Nicholls runs Malaya and Tamaroc Du Mathan.
Harry Fry fields two in Jolly’s Cracked It and Bullionaire – while other leading contenders include Dostal Phil for Barry Geraghty and Philip Hobbs.