Imperial Cup Odds

You can check out the latest odds, runners and tips for the Imperial Cup here...

Imperial Cup Tips

Our columnist Ed Quigley fancied Up For Parol to run a huge race at big odds at Sandown Park.

Imperial Cup
Up For Parol silk

Up For Parol

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Imperial Cup Racecard

Runners and riders for this competitive pre-Cheltenham Handicap along with tips from the top tipsters from the National Press.

What is the Imperial Cup?

The Imperial Cup is a hotly-anticipated handicap hurdle that takes place at Sandown Park three days before the Cheltenham Festival. Despite being so close to the main spectacle on the National Hunt calendar, the Imperial Cup is still targeted by all the elite National Hunt trainers, and is tough betting heat for punters.

First run in 1907, the Imperial Cup was regarded as the premier hurdle race on the calendar, but since then has been surpassed by a host of Graded races. However, there's a significant financial carrot dangled for those winning the Imperial Cup, as if the horse can win at Sandown then go on to win at the Cheltenham Festival then there's a bonus put up by the sponsors. Very few have achieved the coveted double.

What happened in the 2021 Imperial Cup?

Dan Skelton's Langer Dan was a fine winner of the Imperial Cup, as the five-year-old scooted clear of the second placed Miss Heritage, with Mack The Man back in third.

The history of the Imperial Cup

Having been going for over a century the Imperial Cup is steeped in history, and the Sandown Park contest has been a mainstay of the British National Hunt season since the start of the 20th Century. 

With the sponsors now providing an attractive bonus if a horse can win the Imperial Cup and then go on to win at the Cheltenham Festival then it is a race that continues to be the breeding ground for stars. 

The likes of Lanzarote (1973) and Floyd (1985) are two horses on the illustrious roll of honour, while in more recent times there have been three horses to win the Imperial Cup and a race at Cheltenham. Olympian won the 1993 Imperial Cup before going to win the Coral Cup, while Blowing Wind (1998) won the County Hurdle after Imperial Cup success, while Gaspara won this race and the Fred Winter in 2007 for David Pipe.

Who is the most iconic winner of the Imperial Cup?

Jim Old's Collier Bay was a superb winner of the 1995 Imperial Cup, but he went on to much bigger things later in his career, as he stormed to glory in the 1996 Champion Hurdle, so has to be regarded as the most iconic winner of the race.

Are there any trials for the Imperial Cup?

Often seen more as a trial for a Cheltenham Festival race, the Imperial Cup being a handicap hurdle can see potentially progressive, unexposed horses taking on proven handicappers, so it's hard to single out trials in particular that will give clues as to a potential winner of the race.

Who is the most successful jockey in the Imperial Cup?

The legendary AP McCoy is the most successful jockey in the Imperial Cup history as the multiple champion jockey rode the winner five times during his career. He bagged his first win on board Blowing Wind in 1998, while he added to that tally by partnering Polar Red (2002), Korelo (2003), Gaspara (2007), and Qaspal (2010) to victory.

Who is the most successful trainer in the Imperial Cup?

Unsurprisingly, it's Martin Pipe that has the greatest record in the race, as the world-class trainer amassed six wins in the race as a trainer bagging his first success in 1989 with Travel Mystery. Olympian was his next winner in 1993, while he then teamed up with AP McCoy with wins with Blowing Wind, Polar Red, and Korelo. Medison was to be Pipe's last winner in 2005, but his son David took over the reins at Pond House and has duly continued the fine run of the family name in the race.

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