Commander Heads Straight To Gold Cup

Sun 27th Jan 2013, 11:26

Imperial Commander
©Healy Racing Photos
Imperial Commander will head straight back to Cheltenham in a bid to reclaim the Betfred Gold Cup following his fine effort in the Argento Chase.

The 12-year-old went agonisingly close to making a triumphant return when he was caught in the dying strides by Cape Tribulation on Saturday, in his first race since he was pulled up in the Gold Cup some 680 days earlier.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies reported the 2010 Gold Cup hero to be in fine shape on Sunday morning and is looking forward to another crack at the blue riband in March.

"It was heartbreaking to see him mugged on the line, but yet again he showed all his doubters wrong. He can come back and hopefully is as good as ever," the Naunton handler told At The Races.

"He's 100%, not a bother on him. It's a relief and in top-class races you always worry a little bit about injuries, but he's never had any horrendous injury. They have only been very minor, they just take time to mend.

"He goes straight to the Gold Cup. The bounce factor wouldn't worry me at all. Firstly it's nearly seven weeks so he can have a break now and we can get him back again.

"I'm not a great believer in bounce factors. I think all he can do is improve."

Battaash v Lady Aurelia

Following his breath-taking four length victory in the 2017 running of the Prix de L’Abbaye, it is difficult to envisage that any horse can beat Battaash over 5 furlongs when in that sort of form. It was a stunning performance where he made Group 1 sprinters look ordinary. A field that included the Nunthorpe Stakes winner Marsha in behind. So can he confirm himself as the top sprinter around or will it be another Royal Ascot success for the American speedster Lady Aurelia when the pair clash next month? Here we look at each horses credentials heading in to one of the most anticipated clashes of the season. You can see the latest betting on Royal Ascot now in which Star Sports currently make Battaash 11/4 favourite ahead of 3/1 Lady Aurelia to win the King Stand Stakes on 19th June.