Twiston-Davies plea to punters

  • Last Updated: February 2 2013, 18:47 GMT

Nigel Twiston-Davies is brimming with confidence ahead of Imperial Commander's bid to regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup crown next month, despite the horse's recent defeat in the Argento Chase.

Imperial Commander takes the last ahead of Cape Tribulation
Imperial Commander takes the last ahead of Cape Tribulation

Off the track since being pulled up in the 2011 Gold Cup bidding to defend his title, the 12-year-old was narrowly edged out by Cape Tribulation having looked to have the race in the bag for most of the closing stages.

"It was a tragedy but it wasn't, because he'd had an easy time of things and it showed everyone that he was as good as ever," Twiston-Davies told At The Races.

"We knew he needed the run and it just got to him in the last 10 strides."

The trainer refused to see the horse's age as a barrier to success at the Festival next month.

"I keep saying to everyone that Kauto Star was at his best at Kempton at 11 and Denman ran a brilliant race in the Gold Cup when he was a 11-year-old." he said. "What is age for horses? They don't have the same map that we do.

"It was a real rush to get him there and we knew that whatever he did, he would be better in March. He'd only had three or four weeks of cantering before he raced and he was nowhere near fit.

"We're looking forward to the big day. This year's Gold Cup is very open.

"I hope anybody who is a bit canny will have a few tenners on at 25s and you won't go far wrong."

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