12 March 2018

The feature race on the Sandown card on Saturday was the Grade 3 Matchbook Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle and a battling renewal saw the 20/1 shot MR ANTOLINI (IRE) score by a neck. The two mile trip on soft ground made it hard work, with MR ANTOLINI (IRE) and Call Me Lord finishing nine lengths clear of the favourite Whatswrongwithyou (IRE).

Previously trained in Ireland by Garrett James Power, he broke his maiden in a bumper at Downpatrick where he cruised home 18 lengths ahead of his nearest rival. Sold on to the Nigel Twiston-Davies’ yard, he has won two of this three starts for new owners Alan and Sally Coney.

Bred by Brian Hallahan, MR ANTOLINI (IRE) is out of an Old Vic half-sister to the Listed hurdle scorer Verney Bird (IRE), herself the dam of the Grade 2 winner over fences Noras Fancy (IRE). Multiple Listed winner Allten Glazed is from the extended family.

The two-mile Listed mares bumper was the final black-type contest on the card at Sandown and it was the Stuart Edmunds-trained QUEENOHEARTS (IRE) who trumped in a nail-biting finish. Polish Trish (IRE) set the pace early on at a sound gallop and made most of the running before being headed one furlong out. QUEENOHEARTS (IRE) and Queens Cave (IRE) battled it out in the final furlong with the former staying on to win by a neck.

Bred by Sean Mullen of Springfield Stables, she is a daughter of the high-class dual-purpose sire Flemensfirth who stands the 2018 season at Coolmore’s Beeches Stud at a career-high fee of €15,000. Her dam, Chars (IRE), is an Old Vic half-sister to the multiple Grade 1 winner Macs Joy (IRE). 

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