Harry Fry: “we’ll not be going for the bonus”
PICTURE:Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
By Stuart Riley 2:14PM 6 MAR 2017
HARRY FRY’S four-timer seeking Air Horse One heads 24 entries for Saturday’s big betting heat, Sandown’s £70,000 Grade 3 Matchbook Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle.
With a maximum field size of 24 all those declared would get a run if standing their ground and with a £50,000 bonus on offer for any horse who can win the race and follow up under a penalty at next week’s Cheltenham Festival there is every incentive to turn up.
In previous years the David Pipe yard, and before that his father Martin, loved to target the bonus but with their only entry Max Do Brazil on a mark of 128 he will struggle to get into any of the festival handicaps even with a 5lb penalty.
Topweight Air Horse One, on a mark of 140, would be likely to get in to one of the two festival handicaps for which he holds an entry – the Coral Cup and the Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle – but speaking in Monday’s Racing Post Harry Fry suggested a crack at the double was not on the cards for him either.
“The plan will be to enter him for the Sandown race and the County Hurdle on the final day of the festival, but we’ll not be going for the bonus of winning both, or anything clever like that,” he said. “If he runs on Saturday he’s unlikely to go to Cheltenham six days later.”
Last year it took a mark of 139 to get in the Coral Cup, 138 to get in the County and 135 to get in either the Pertemps or Martin Pipe. Of the 24 entries 13 are on a mark of 132 or higher and would do their chances of getting a run at the festival the world of good by picking up a penalty.