We return to Sandown this afternoon with Ebony Express in a bid to defend the Imperial Cup. The win last year is a day we’ll never forget and I can’t believe it’s come round again so quickly.
The form of last year’s race couldn’t have worked out any better, I actually I think it was pretty much the strongest handicap of the season. Rayvin Black 2nd, Camping Ground 4th, Thistlecrack 5th, all have gone on and won big races and made the form look very strong indeed.
Unfortunately the only horse not to frank the result is our lad Ebony Express, there have been ligitimate reasons though. Firstly the horse was sick with a virus and scoped dirty after a two of his runs, he then didn’t get home over two miles three at Ascot. We were hoping everything might just drop right again this afternoon but the deluge of rain on Wednesday has gone against us.
Ebony Express has not ran on a decent surface since this race a year ago and he’s struggled to cope with the bad ground, the horse is ex flat and gets stuck in the mud. Ebony did win two races on soft at Carlisle but this was against inferior rivals and nothing like what he’s been up against since. It’s amazing to think since we purchased Ebony back in October 2014 we’ve not run on genuine good going.
We will give it a very good go today but I fear the heavy ground will scupper our chances, it’s very frustrating. We are now in middle of March and still running on swamp like conditions. Whatever the result this afternoon we'll enjoy the day and the publicity of winning the race last year.