Imperial set for comeback
November return pencilled in for Gold Cup winner
Last Updated: 05/09/12 12:56pm
Imperial Commander: Could be back in training soon
Imperial Commander could be set for an imminent return to training at Nigel Twiston-Davies' stable ahead of a possible tilt at the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November.
The 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero won the Betfair Chase the following season but was pulled up lame when defending his crown in the Prestbury Park blue riband in March of last year.
The leg injury he sustained at Cheltenham has since kept the 11-year-old out of action but his pre-training in Ireland is coming to an end and connections are looking forward to see him back in full work before the end of this month.
Part-owner Hugh Doubtfire said: "Imperial Commander is still in Ireland and he has done plenty of roadwork and cantering.
"He's recently been scanned again and all is well, so I think he will be returning to Nigel's in the next week or so.
"Everything has gone well up to now.
"We're obviously taking it day by day with him, not because anything is wrong, but obviously it is quite a big ask for the horse after 18 months off to go straight into a Grade One.
"The Betfair Chase is the aim at the moment, and we'll see as we go along with him. He has done his pre-training and that will be stepped up when he gets back to Nigel's."
Less than a month after Imperial Commander's final run at Cheltenham, regular rider Paddy Brennan stepped down as Twiston-Davies' stable jockey.
The trainer's son, Sam Twiston-Davies, now rides the majority of his father's string, but Doubtfire expects Brennan to keep the ride on Imperial Commander.
He said: "As far as I am aware, he is still Paddy's ride, but it's not something we've really talked about.
"We've obviously been more concerned about trying to get the horse back on track than who will ride him. All I would say is that the chances of anyone else riding him are slim."