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2:25 Sandown – Imperial Cup

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When he won a Listed Handicap hurdle here in December, SAMARRIVE looked to be one of the most exciting novice hurdlers in the Nicholls yard. He travelled very strongly in that race and came clear of Zambezi Fix and Thibault with ease to record an 8-length victory. The handicapper was suitably impressed and gave him an 11lb rise for the win, which made it more disappointing when he pulled up on his next start at Ascot.

In hindsight, that form is worth forgiving as the ground was very tacky that day and it came just 2-weeks after his Sandown win, so for such a young and inexperienced horse it was probably too much to ask. Given a break since, he returns to Sandown on a mark of 139, on much better ground and under conditions that he has already excelled in.  After just 5 starts, he remains very unexposed and looks to have been saved for this race by his master trainer.

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