Twiston-Davies: My Festival team

  • Last Updated: February 25 2013, 17:37 GMT

Nigel Twiston-Davies talks us through his team for the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.

Imperial Commander: Trying to regain the Gold Cup
Imperial Commander: Trying to regain the Gold Cup

Imperial Commander

I'm very pleased with him and it's all going smoothly. I want to give him a racecourse gallop somewhere this weekend and as you can see for yourselves he's looking lovely. I was hoping to take him to Newbury on Saturday but they won't let us so we'll try and find somewhere else for him. His comeback run was astonishingly good. If you had offered that second to me before the race I would've been delighted. He had such a bad run up to it having fractured a splint bone - he'd been swimming a lot but there's no substitute for cantering and he'd only had four weeks of that beforehand and as anyone would tell you that's not really enough. So he wasn't fit that day and he should come on plenty for the run. Everyone talks about age but he doesn't seem any different to three years ago. He's in great nick. I don't subscribe to the bounce theory. He's had seven weeks between races and we've brought him back gently so he's had the perfect preparation.

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The New One

He's obviously got a huge burst of speed and in hindsight we probably did use it too soon last time. I'd hope the ground won't be anywhere near as heavy at the Festival though. Tactics wise, he'll probably sit there and take it up at the last. There's no point in waiting and waiting and making a mistake at the final flight. He's the shortest price of all mine at the Festival and the bookmakers are cleverer than most of us so he probably is my best chance.

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African Gold

This fellow has been quite superb this season and I think the extra distance and better ground will improve him a lot. I'm hoping in years to come he'll be an Imperial Commander type, a great big, strong horse. He's in the handicaps still but I think we'll be going for the Albert Bartlett.

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Master Of The Seas

He's been an absolute revelation and we still haven't got to the bottom of him. I'd be very excited about him in the Coral Cup. He'll need to improve to win it, but I believe the potential improvement is still there.

The Cockney Mackem

Second at the Festival last year, he's only run once this season due to a setback - he had a colic operation. It was a very simple one, but it ended up life-threatening as they had to go right down and his guts unravelled themselves as soon as they opened his tummy up. But he's back now and in good form. I was really pleased with him over hurdles at Ascot as he doesn't like that soft ground so it was an excellent reappearance. He could be on a good mark and I'm excited about his chance in the Pulteney Land Novices' Handicap.

  • All eyes are on Nigel Twiston-Davies as the countdown to the Festival continues
  • The New One leads the Cheltenham team to the gallops...
  • ...but Imperial Commander leads them up the gallops
  • ...before posing for the cameras.
  • African Gold carries plenty of stable confidence into the Albert Bartlett...
  • ...but The New One is the apple of his trainer's eye
All the best images from Nigel Twiston-Davies' media day

Imperial Leader

He's in good form and he goes to Sandown next for the EBF Novices' Hurdle. His form from Cheltenham behind Melodic Rendezvous is working out very well and I think he could be on a very good mark. We'll take it one race at a time but he could go to Cheltenham for the Coral Cup or the Martin Pipe race.

Tour Des Champs

He's an improving horse and is entered in everything, I'm not sure which race he'll run in yet we'll have to look at the weights and decide. He made a mistake in the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot last week and I thought he could've run one hell of a big race there as he really stays on. I hope he's an RSA horse, but if he is he'd defintely win the handicap wouldn't he? We'll have to see.

According To Trev

I'm very pleased with him. He doesn't have an awful lot of weight in the Pertemps and if the ground gets a bit better we'll see a much better horse than the last couple of runs. He's one I fancy for the Pertemps.

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Same Difference

I thought he ran okay in the Racing Plus Chase. He was a novice against good handicappers so I couldn't be too disappointed with him. He stays well so I think we'll have a look at the four-mile race with him for Cheltenham.

Ransom Note

He's doing okay. I don't think he'll be going to the Festival as he knocked a joint so he will take a bit of time.

Pigeon Island

He won the Grand Annual three years ago and he could go for the same race again. He's been running in good races and picking up prizemoney for being placed and he's in the form of his life really.

Billie Magern

He needs good ground and he could run in the three-mile handicap chase.

Double Ross

He's in the Pertemps and the Coral Cup. He's been running consistently well all season and is in good form.

Kayf Aramis

He could run in the Pertemps for the fifth time but wouldn't be certain to get in.

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