Commander Set For Return To Action At Haydock

Mon 19th Nov 2012, 01:09

Imperial Commander on his way to winning the Gold Cup in 2010
©Healy Racing Photos
Imperial Commander is on track to make his return to action in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained 11-year-old has not been seen since pulling up in last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup, which was his first run since he won the Haydock race in 2010.

Naunton handler Twiston-Davies said: "He has been very good.

"I haven't had him back very long and it was a case of had he taken one wrong step then we wouldn't have got him to the Betfair.

"It's so difficult when you have got a horse that has had a leg (problem), but he is as fit as I can get him without having had a run.

"Everyone says is he as good as he was, but who can say?"

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.

THE IRISH TIMES