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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Paintball chasing Imperial doubleHeadlines
Paintball

Paintball is on target to defend his Paddy Power Imperial Cup crown at Sandown on Saturday week.

The six-year-old sprang a 20-1 surprise under Noel Fehily last year, sprinting up the hill to win by nearly five lengths.

Connections decided against going for the bonus at Cheltenham and sent him to Aintree instead but he was well beaten there and in four subsequent races. However, trainer Charlie Longsdon believes a further breathing operation will help him get back to his best.

"Paintball will go straight to the Imperial Cup now," said Longsdon.

"We've given him another wind-op and I hope that will help.

"He's only 1lb higher than when he won it last year and he's beginning to work like a really nice horse again."

Tominator, a good winner at Sandown earlier this month, could also run in the Imperial Cup.

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill said: "I might put Tominator in, as he's off 127 at the moment and he might not get in anywhere else.

"He's in good form and doing everything well at home."

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