Imperial Cup Preview, Tips, Runners & Trends

Updated: 2304 Horse Racing

We look at the Imperial Cup ahead of the next renewal, a race contested over 2m at Sandown to see which runners, trainers and jockeys have previously won the race and which trends can you use to find the winner of the Imperial Cup.

Imperial Cup Preview, Tips, Runners & Trends
In this article: Preview
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

2025 Imperial Cup Preview

Established in 1907, the Imperial Cup is scheduled to take place in March of each year at the Sandown racecourse usually on the Saturday before the Cheltenham Festival.

The race is a Grade 3 hurdle that is open to runners aged four or older and it is run over a trip just shy of two miles in which eight hurdles are jumped.

Imperial Cup Information:

If you are interested in other predictions at Sandown then head over to the Sandown tips page to see which runners are being supported by the OLBG racing tipsters and also compare those predictions to the runners that make the trend shortlist when added below. You may also be interested in other preview blogs that we have packed full of information, head down to the Other Principal Races at Sandown Racecourse section for links to these.

How competitive is the Imperial Cup market? When looking at the over-rounds for the last 20 renewals, the most competitive market was in 2016 when the race had an over-round of 117%. The race in 2010 was a race that was most in the bookie's favour with an over-round of 136%, whilst on average over the last 20 renewals of the Imperial Cup, the over-round has been 127%, which means the bookie expects to pay out £100 for every £127 which is bet.

Imperial Cup Trends:

Looking at the future form, is the winner worth following next time out? From the past 20 if you had followed the winner of the Imperial Cup next time out then you would have backed a total of 1 winner. Backing all 19 runners who have been out since to win at SP next time out, would have returned an LSP of -13.50. Remember to use the racing predictions along with the information on this page to find a bet on the 2025 Imperial Cup.

The runner that holds the record over the past 20 renewals for the slowest time in the race was set in the 2013 renewal when First Avenue from Laura Mongan under the guidance of Nathan Adams, won in a time of 4:15.33, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, Daves Dream, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Barry Geraghty set the quickest time of 3:50.00 in the 2009 renewal.

These are the top three quickest-run Imperial Cup over the last 20 renewals:

  1. Daves Dream (3:50.00) in 2009
  2. Ashkazar (3:50.40) in 2008
  3. Qaspal (3:54.11) in 2010
What the expert says...
A lot of the Imperial Cup winners go on to run at the Cheltenham Festival with most running in either the County Hurdle or the Martin Pipe, however, those have produced limited success, in fact, the only winner of the Imperial Cup to go on to win next time out was Gaspara in 2007 when winning the Fred Winter. In the last twenty years, those going to the County Hurdle are 0-5 and those in the Martin Pipe are 0-4 although Langer Dan (2021) and Flying Angel (2016) did both finish runner-up in that race.

Andy Powell - Horse Racing Betting Expert -

Imperial Cup Past Winners

Here are the Imperial Cup past winners for the last 10 renewals. Each row details the year of the race, the horse which won along with the age & weight of the horse. The trainer of the horse at the time of winning the Imperial Cup as well as the jockey is also displayed along with the starting price the horse was sent off.

Race Notes: The race was abandoned in 2020 because of a waterlogged course.

Go Dante (GB)
8yo 11-4 5/1F
Sean Bowen
Olly Murphy (GB)
Iceo (FR)
5yo 11-3 5/1
Harry Cobden
Paul Nicholls (GB)
Suprise Package (GB)
6yo 11-1 20/1
James Bowen
Peter Fahey (IRE)
Langer Dan (IRE)
5yo 10-10 5/1
Harry Skelton
Dan Skelton (GB)
Malaya (FR)
5yo 10-2 7/1
Harry Cobden
Paul Nicholls (GB)
Mr Antolini (IRE)
8yo 10-1 20/1
Jamie Bargary (3lbs)
Nigel Twiston-Davies (GB)
London Prize (GB)
6yo 11-2 10/1
Tom O'Brien
Ian Williams (GB)
Flying Angel (IRE)
5yo 10-7 9/1
Ryan Hatch (3lbs)
Nigel Twiston-Davies (GB)
Ebony Express (GB)
6yo 10-7 33/1
William Kennedy
Dr Richard Newland (GB)
Baltimore Rock (IRE)
5yo 10-12 7/1
Tom Scudamore
David Pipe (GB)

Where have the winning runners come from?

Here are the countries where the winning trainers of the Imperial Cup have been based:

  • GB: 18 winners with an additional 54 placings from 353 runners
  • IRE: 2 winners with an additional 1 placing from 15 runners

Imperial Cup Trainer Statistics

The leading trainer in the Imperial Cup over the last 20 renewals is David Pipe who has won the race three times with those three winners coming from Gaspara (2007), Ashkazar (2008) and Baltimore Rock (2014). Other trainers who have recorded multiple wins in the Imperial Cup are Paul Nicholls (2 wins) and Nigel Twiston-Davies (2 wins). Multiple trainers have not had the best of times over the last 20 renewals in the Imperial Cup, Gary Moore (0-22), Alan King (0-13) and Venetia Williams (0-11) have all failed to produce a single winner despite sending multiple runners to the race.

Here are some of the top Imperial Cup trainer statistics over the last 20 renewals (R = Runners, W = Winners, P = Places including winners, Win LSP is based on 1pt Win and EW LSP is based on 0.5pt Win & 0.5pt Place):

David Pipe17-3-7-0.92+0.00
Paul Nicholls22-2-6-8.00-5.93
Nigel Twiston-Davies5-2-2+26.00+15.13
Nicky Henderson22-1-5-9.00-9.08
Philip Hobbs13-1-4-9.25-3.78
Lucy Wadham10-1-4+1.00+3.05
Dan Skelton10-1-4-4.00+0.82
Dr Richard Newland6-1-2+28.00+20.26
Ian Williams6-1-1+5.00+1.25
Laura Mongan4-1-1+17.00+9.50

Imperial Cup Jockey Statistics

The leading jockey in the Imperial Cup over the last 20 renewals is Harry Cobden who has won the race two times with those two winners coming from Malaya (2019) and Iceo (2023).

Here are some of the top Imperial Cup jockey statistics over the last 20 renewals (R = Runners, W = Winners, P = Places including winners, Win LSP is based on 1pt Win and EW LSP is based on 0.5pt Win & 0.5pt Place):

Harry Cobden5-2-2+9.00+4.51
Harry Skelton8-1-3-2.00-0.81
William Kennedy6-1-1+28.00+15.63
Sean Bowen4-1-1+2.00+0.13
James Bowen3-1-3+18.00+13.83
Jamie Bargary1-1-1+20.00+12.50
Daryl Jacob8-0-5-8.00-1.13
Paddy Brennan7-0-0-7.00-7.00
Sam Twiston-Davies6-0-0-6.00-6.00
Jack Quinlan5-0-2-5.00+1.63

Imperial Cup Trend Analysis

The trend factor which had produced 10+ winners and shows the best LSP, an LSP of +37.58 is when runners had 2 career wins in Jumps (Hurdle) races. The worst performing factor that has failed to produce a single winner is when runners were Chestnut in colour, when backing these the trend shows a record of 0-42.

The course which has produced the most winners of the Imperial Cup is Newbury, there has been a total number of 4 winners of this race who ran at Newbury last time out. The next best course which has produced the second most winners is Sandown, there has been a total number of 3 winners of this race who ran at Sandown last time out.

The race is open to both sexes with the Male runners having produced a total of 18 winners from a total of 350 runners whilst the Female runners have produced 2 winners from a total of 18 runners.

These are the stallions whose offspring have not produced a winner of the Imperial Cup despite multiple attempts:

  • Kings Theatre (0 Wins from 8 runners)
  • Desert Prince (0 Wins from 5 runners)
  • Halling (0 Wins from 5 runners)
  • In The Wings (0 Wins from 5 runners)

Looking at the winning odds over the last 20 renewals, the biggest-priced winner was Ebony Express in 2015, winning for Dr Richard Newland at odds of 33/1 under the guidance of William Kennedy. Looking at the runners at the head of the market over the last 20 renewals there have been 5 winning favourites in the race. Whilst we wait for the 2025 Imperial Cup remember you can get daily racing predictions from the top racing tipsters on the best racing tipsters page.

Other Principal races at Sandown racecourse

Here are some other notable races at the Sandown racecourse throughout the racing season that you may be interested in.

Races in January

Races in February

Races in March

Races in April (Jump Finale)

Races in April (Classic Trial Day)

Races in July

Races in December

Article Contributor Information

We are blessed with an excellent team of specialists and experts at OLBG. Contributing to creating and maintaining this Imperial Cup Preview are at hand, Andy and James. They both work on the Horse racing tips team team looking after the tipsters and managing the tips settlement, whilst also creating and managing all of the horse racing event previews for National Hunt Racing.

James Banting

James Banting

Tipster competition assistant

James Banting, a passionate horse racing enthusiast and aficionado, brings a wealth of experience to OLBG, having attended numerous race meetings over the years. His background working with the Jockey Club provides him with a unique insider's perspective on the industry.
Andy Powell

Andy Powell

Content editor

Andy, a seasoned horse racing expert with over 15 years of experience, possesses a comprehensive understanding of the sport, from delving into complex statistical data for jump racing in the UK and Ireland to crafting insightful national hunt racing blogs for OLBG.

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