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Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC )
25 Nov 09 19:30
Date Joined: 13 Jul 09
| Topic/replies: 1,992 | Blogger: Julius Caesar ( JC 100 BC )'s blog
Your thoughts on this article by marmite nick m8.

Following the Betfair Chase I now know how everyone in Ireland must have felt after Thierry Henry handballed his team's way to victory over the Irish side last week. I made IMPERIAL COMMANDER (45) one of my best bets of the whole year and was devastated when the photo went to Kauto Star.

One reason I was so confident of Imperial Commander is that I was convinced I and many others had tagged him wrongly as a non-stayer.

It was certainly very easy to jump to the conclusion that Imperial Commander didn't stay. After all he'd won seven of the eight times he'd gone less than three miles before the Betfair Chase and lost all six times he's been asked to go three miles plus.

However things didn't look anything like as clear cut when you took a closer look at Imperial Commander.

Watching the video of his win in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival I saw that Imperial Commander took on the very speedy front runner Our Vic and ran him into the ground after less than two miles. He then continued powering away on his own up front and clearly outstayed all his rivals up the stiff finishing hill on yielding ground on one of the stiffest tracks in the country.

Then there was Imperial Commander's physique. He's a tall, very deep chested, long striding sort that looked like a three miler running against two and two and a half milers at Cheltenham. It certainly looked like his jockey rode him to exploit his superior stamina that day.

There were several other things that persuaded me Imperial Commander would stay three miles - and more.

The first was the insistence of his jockey and trainer. The seconds was his pedigree. His three siblings, including his full sister, all won point to points over three miles.

So why had Imperial Commander no wins to his name over longer trips? I'm pretty sure I now know the answer.

I strongly suspect that Imperial Commander flopped at three miles before the Betfair Chase because he'd never been fresh enough to run well at the distance. He'd won all six times he'd come into a race off a break of seven weeks or more but scored just once from eight tries when returned to the races more quickly - as he had for all his three mile efforts.

The field that Imperial Commander beat in the Ryanair was brilliant. So with reasonable doubts existing about Kauto Star I thought he was a fantastic bet at around 10-1.

The race was pretty much a carbon copy of the Ryanair. But this time the front runner that Imperial Commander pressed early wasn't Our Vic, it was another David Pipe inmate Madison Du Berlais. As was the case at Cheltenham, Imperial Commander had the front runner beat with a mile to run and kicked on. He was kicked on into the lead at this point by jockey Paddy Brennan who stole a quick peak back at his rivals and must have liked what he saw.

Ruby Walsh on Kauto Star was clearly getting a bit anxious at this stage and moved his mount up quickly into second, stealing a look of his own back at the other horses as he did so.

Entering the straight it was clear that Imperial Commander was going to take some catching. He was two or three lengths clear and not stopping. But a slow jump two out allowed Kauto Star to catch up, head him narrowly and then forge on two lengths clear. You could see Brennan had a fair bit of horse left under him though, so it wasn't surprising he was able to stage a rally and get back in front just before the line. Unfortunately his head was up and his rivals down as they crossed the line. As a result Kauto Star got the decision.

Make no mistake, this was a huge performance by Imperial Commander, one of the best we've seen over jumps in years. It took a top performance by the very best chaser in the last decade and a lucky head bob to beat him by the narrowest of margins. He had the rest of a high class field 24 lengths and more behind.

The big question now is whether Imperial Commander can reproduce this form in the King George.

If my theory about him needing seven weeks between his runs is correct then the answer has to be 'no' as there's only five weeks between the Betfair Chase and the King George. However most horses that need to be fresh are good for their first two runs of the season, however close together they are. Thereafter they tend to need a break of five weeks, quite often six, but almost never seven or more to run well again.

So why did Imperial Commander run so dreadfully in last year's King George? It was only his second run of the season and came 41 days after the first.

I think there may well be several explanations. One I'm inclined towards is that Imperial Commander is too bit, tall and long striding to handle a tight course like Kempton (he ran below form around the only other tight track he's tried - Aintree).

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies believes that the answer may be Imperial Commander dislikes right-handed tracks. It's a good theory because Imperial Commander ran another clunker the only other time he was asked to go right handed. And this was after a 48 day break at last year's Punchestown Festival.

At this stage it's tough to give a definitive answer as Imperial Commander has run a couple of poor races on left handed tracks too when he's been pretty fresh. And he's never shown a sign of jumping to his right like most horse that prefer going that way do.

If he were mine I'd forget about the King George and shoot for the Lexus Chase instead at left-handed Leopardstown. If he ran a clunker there then we'd at least know for sure it's because he wasn't fresh enough rather than it being due to a dislike of going right-handed. Thereafter I'd lay him off all the way to the Cheltenham Gold Cup. That is the perfect race for Imperial Commander because he's such a great big beast of a horse that showed here he can go a tremendous pace and keep going really strongly in testing conditions. The extended three and a quarter miles at Cheltenham should suit him perfectly.

The key to Imperial Commander is clearly the spacing of his races. This is far from unusual with the best chasers these days. Seven of the last fourteen Cheltenham Gold Cup winners were off for 77 days or more before winning the big race. Another three had a break of 47 days plus.
Pause Switch to Standard View Bobby dazzler.........
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Report Bobby Dazzler March 23, 2012 2:20 PM GMT
Just hoping he has learned from the experience - certainly his homework has been excellent, but how he reacts to the journey could be the key. Very nice horse in the making whatever happens and one for the notebook over hurdles.
Report red and white March 23, 2012 4:29 PM GMT
Put a sheep in with him?? It sorted Remittance Man on his travels.
2m4f novice hurdle at Newcastle would bring back a happy memory.
Report Bobby Dazzler March 23, 2012 6:05 PM GMT
He has company this time as Hollow Heartbeat and Listen Boy also travel - hopefully he will behave himself but he has his own ideas about who is in charge
Report The Sweaty Sock March 23, 2012 7:25 PM GMT
Good luck Bobby. Hopefully he won't mash the other two up on the way down!
Report red and white March 24, 2012 5:43 PM GMT
Similar run to last time, outpaced then ran on well at the end. Looks like he would benefit from another half mile.
Report The Sweaty Sock March 24, 2012 5:46 PM GMT
Carbon copy. See what is meant by 'his own ideas'. Once he settles down he'll be pretty useful I'd imagine. Just a bit of the 'jack the Lad' at the moment. Channel that energy and off you go next year.
Report red and white March 24, 2012 6:06 PM GMT
I don't think two miles is his trip SS, though coming second twice is obviously no disgrace. I thought Willie did his best to keep him honest with a positive ride from the outset.
Report Bobby Dazzler March 25, 2012 12:00 PM BST
Decided to hang left for some unknown reason, which meant Willie TD had to stop riding him for nearly 4 furlongs otherwise he would have  run into the doll partitions. Once he got clear and was able to ride him again picked up immediately. Wouldnt have blown a candle out coming back in. He can be lethal at home as well, likes to be in charge. In fairness to him Bangor is probably not ideal as there are many deviations and the dolls mean there is no rail for a long way - but he desperately needed experience and based on the forecast suggests there will be no more suitable ground. Will be put away in Ireland now - and will be a one to follow when he sees some timber - nice horse !
Report red and white March 27, 2012 7:26 PM BST
It will be good to see him over hurdles and imo a longer trip but whether he's one to follow from a value betting perspective is debatable. Somebody accepted evens the night before the race Confused
Report Chad Collins number wan May 25, 2012 12:40 PM BST
Any word on the plans for the Commander next season?  If he's healthy again he's still got few miles on the clock for a horse of his age, and given his love of Cheltenham, might there be one more crack at the big one?  Some tasty EW prices around if so!
Report The Sweaty Sock October 9, 2012 12:41 PM BST
Blimey took an age to find the best thread on the forum. Bobby are you there? I see Toady is quite upbeat about Imperial Commander. But never mind the trainer what are your thoughts? Still got the fire in his belly? Trust you and yours are well.
Report The Sweaty Sock October 11, 2012 7:42 PM BST
Bobby? Surely be on here before Saturday.
Report Bobby Dazzler October 13, 2012 10:56 PM BST
R&W/SS Imperial Commanderis in great order,and is enjoying his work. He has an extended spell of roadwork to protect against a recurrence of his tendon injury as much as we can. His legs have all scanned fine. He is catching up on fitness as he is swimming as well as cantering. Last two pieces of work have been good and he is giving Sparky a good feel. First target will be the Betfair chase and then we can decide where to go from there depending on what he shows us.
Report The Sweaty Sock October 24, 2012 9:52 PM BST
Many thanks for the reply Bobby, glad to hear he's doing we'll.
Report red and white November 3, 2012 5:49 PM GMT
Cheers Bobby, hope he stays sound for the season and good luck with the Imperial Racing venture,
Report The Sweaty Sock November 7, 2012 10:11 AM GMT
Bobby, How's the 'Leader's' schooling going ahead of his engagements? cheere.
Report The Sweaty Sock November 9, 2012 5:04 PM GMT
Good to read blog on Imperial Leader. Your links to the ownership page don't work however : (
Report Bobby Dazzler November 9, 2012 6:15 PM GMT
Hi SS, Which links to the ownership page ? Can't find the fault. Imperial Leader has schooled very well and his recent work has been A!. Off to Ireland as we have a point to point debutant tomorrow, but looking forward to Monday.
Report red and white November 10, 2012 8:40 PM GMT
I've just had a look and in the nice article about IC there are a couple of links regarding shares still available that don't work - file directory not found error. Maybe explains why you haven't sold them Bobby : )
Report red and white November 10, 2012 9:22 PM GMT
In any case you can just click on 'our horses' then 'full profile' if you're interested SS.
Just refreshed my memory on Imperial Leader's runs last season. I see he has two entries and I'm wondering if you're trying again over 2m Bobby. Don't suppose it matters at this stage, but Ifyousayso stayed on strongly over a longer trip in the heavy at Carlisle and Imperial Leader shaped as though he would cope well with an extra few furlongs.
Report Bobby Dazzler November 11, 2012 11:59 PM GMT
SS - Got you -the links in the blog. Will correct. iL has the speed for two but the extra half mile will allow him to ease his way into jumping. Looks a strong race but he has a lot of talent and is in great form.
Report The Sweaty Sock November 12, 2012 10:01 AM GMT
Cool, Good luck today my man. 9/2 looks very fair. Fingers crossed.
Report red and white November 12, 2012 12:41 PM GMT
Hope you have a good day Bobby. I think connections of the hot fav were thinking along the same lines as you but I reckon IL will be better suited by the conditions. Let's hope he doesn't hang this time!
Report red and white November 12, 2012 4:05 PM GMT
Just what the doctor ordered. Smooth performance. Very good value in running as well. Well done Bobby and connections.
Report The Sweaty Sock November 12, 2012 4:59 PM GMT
Yup, your faith  was well founded Bobby. I was impressed in the way he powered away. Obviously grown up now. Well done.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan November 12, 2012 6:07 PM GMT
All drinks in the 'Hollow Bottom' on Imperial Racing Partnership No 2 tonite ! WD
Report red and white November 12, 2012 6:12 PM GMT
Yes, turn of foot at the end of 2 1/2 miles stands him in good stead. STD rode a fine race. Now we can look out for the unraced 4-year-old bumper horse who worked recently with IC. Ring any bells? OM returns from a lay off tomorrow.
Report John.W.Henry. November 12, 2012 6:37 PM GMT
Yet more good honest posting from bobby. Surely the Betfair forums best kept secret Cool

Good work as ever and im sure the original thread poster would entirely agree Wink
Report kenny mann November 12, 2012 6:52 PM GMT
Report Catch Me ifyoucan November 12, 2012 9:55 PM GMT

"He is pretty one of the bumper horses that worked with Imperial Commander" - BD.

Presume 585 days lay off won't be a problem. Must keep a lookout.
Report The Sweaty Sock November 13, 2012 9:47 AM GMT
Hmm OM doesn't have a mountain to climb today.
Report The Sweaty Sock November 13, 2012 2:09 PM GMT
Good comeback, ran a bit fresh and beaten by a fitter horse. Another one to watch.
Report The Sweaty Sock November 19, 2012 6:58 PM GMT
Hi Bobby, How's he looking for the Betfair mate?
Report BJG November 20, 2012 12:08 PM GMT
NR Sad
Report GoldCupWinner November 20, 2012 12:20 PM GMT
Ffs. Nigel was just saying he was fine at the weekend too. Not that he's a trainer I trust with his public information.
Report Mr Eboue November 20, 2012 6:44 PM GMT
Asking a great deal for him to get back to anywhere like his best. Would be awful to see him tailed off on his return.

Retirement must be an option....
Report Steeplechasing November 20, 2012 10:27 PM GMT
Ian (Bobby D) kindly gave me more news on the injury for my blog - there a video clip too of the schooling session where the damage was done
Report red and white November 21, 2012 8:25 AM GMT
What a shame. Retirement is obviously an option though it doesn't sound like the injury warrants a knee jerk reaction. I'm sure the horse's welfare will come first. Connections seemed very pleased with him a few days ago and if he comes back into the same state of wellbeing perhaps we'll see him in action again. Look on the bright side, we've avoided the annual Kempton debate.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 9, 2013 11:43 PM GMT

IMPERIAL COMMANDER continued his preparation for the Argento Chase in three weeks time when leading stablemate Ransom Note in a steady 2m racecourse gallop prior to racing at Chepstow.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, who had to abandon plans to run the former 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in the Betfair Chase due to a minor leg fracture, expressed pleasure with the 12-year-old's display.

"That was all we wanted him to do," said Twiston-Davies, adding: "It looks like he will get to the Argento. He didn't blow too much and might have one more racecourse gallop before Cheltenham."

BetVictor go 66-1 about Imperial Commander regaining his Gold Cup crown in March.

The Giant Bolster, runner-up in last year's Gold Cup and a general 25-1 shot for this year's race, is also being aimed at the Argento by trainer David Bridgwater.

He said on Saturday: "He's in good form and will go for the Argento. He likes Cheltenham and has won at that meeting for the last two seasons."
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 9, 2013 11:57 PM GMT
red and white 09 Jan 13 19:06
It would be interesting to hear bobby dazzler's thoughts but he rarely appears on here now.

Brooksielad 09 Jan 13 18:34
Bobs Worth runs in the Argento I think, so he'd have to run a big race after a long lay off, but If anyone can get one ready to run a big one off a long lay off its Twister.

I remember Imperial Commander running in the Paddy Power Gold Cup after a very long lay off, Was one of my fav threads listening to bobby dazzler talking about his rehab, made me lots of money that day.

If anyone can bring him back on here it has to be the smell of The Sweaty Sock Silly
Report red and white January 10, 2013 6:36 PM GMT
Yep, Jock's the man for the smoke signals. Did anyone else lose the house keeping in the last at Chepstow on Saturday? Mine went down the WC with WC. Blush
Report red and white January 11, 2013 10:56 AM GMT
Speaking about Winged Commander, he was ICs work companion when he was reportedly going well before the injury. It's a concern that WC struggled to go the pace on his bumper debut.
Report dirtycash January 12, 2013 4:45 PM GMT
Red and White in hindsight Winged Crusader badly needed his debut last week, he works extremely well at home and didn't show that on course. Regarding being Imperial Commander's work companion in think you've got the 2 Imperial's mixed up it was Imperial Leader.

Bobby will be posting a blog update this week on with more info
Report red and white January 12, 2013 5:38 PM GMT
Appreciate the update dirtycash. I'm sure Winged Crusader was the horse that went with Imperial Commander at Towcester in November but my memory may be playing tricks with me. Given what you say about his current fitness I won't read too much into it. He's surely better than he looked at Chepstow and the November outing was just a gallop. I'm sure a few of us will look forward to Bobby's update on the Commanders wellbeing.
Report Bobby Dazzler January 13, 2013 11:41 AM GMT
Hi Red and White,

Winged Crusader had never had a racecourse gallop, he is a playboy who did everything at home two well and wouldn't have blown a candle out afterwards. He ran very green and didn't handle the surface at all (it was about as gluey as I have ever seen). He blew up two furlongs out, and blew like Stevensons Rocket for 20 minutes afterwards. Despite the conditions I think it will prove to be a decent bumper and he will come on a ton for that run physically and mentally. I was well aware that conditions were not ideal before we ran him, but we had gone as far as we could at home, options were running thin and the cold snap we are now seeing was on the radar. Given good ground (which he would much prefer) and the benefit of the last run you will see a very different horse next time, he has a lot of talent but will need a lot of time to learn because he is mentally very immature.

I think yesterdays racecourse gallop was the best I have ever seen from Imperial Commander, his companion was a 70 rated flat horse who is no superstar but will win novice hurdles and who we thought would be sharp enough to test him over a very inadequate two mile spin. He is getting fitter by the day, is really well and fresh at home and wants to be a racehorse. As a 12-y-o he has lost some of his tactical speed and is an out an out stayer these days, but on what we are seeing he retains much of his class. The problem is the limited options in terms of races - we will know more when  we take on Bobs Worth in the Argento, and he looks to be on course for that and should arrive in decent nick.
Report Brooksielad January 13, 2013 12:12 PM GMT
Nice to hear Imperial Commander is well, looking forward to his return, hope being back at his fav track will ignite his passion for the game and hopefully he puts up an encouraging return.

I presume he will have two races followed by a well deserved retirement, or would that be to premature to say?
Report red and white January 14, 2013 6:34 PM GMT
Hello Bobby, thanks as always for the reply. Great to hear about Imperial Commander. You're definitely doing the right thing giving him another day at Cheltenham. What would we have missed if Paul Nicholls had listened to the doom mongers before Kauto finished his career in style? Last season's novices are a good bunch but if fellow Flemensfirth 12-year-old Tidal Bay can mix it with them your champion certainly can, especially around his favourite track.
Apologies for my Winged Crusader red herring; dc must be right in that I got mixed up with Imperial leader. He looked like he would handle the ground but that sticky stuff is a punter's nightmare. It's so hard to get a handle on it as there's no official description. I understand fully how you had to run him. It's been an unusual season and you're not the only one struggling to find suitable races before it's too late.
Was it Pure science who worked with IC back in November? That was some performance he put up on Saturday and I've always liked Warwick as a guide to whether a horse will handle Cheltenham. The New One was superb.
Looking forward to seeing Imperial Leader again. The form of his last run looks rock solid. Very exciting times for the stable.
p.s. Nice touch letting Paddy keep the ride. Class.
Report CVByrne January 14, 2013 10:27 PM GMT
Hey Bobby, great to see IC back. He's been missed. Is the Grand National a distinct possibility if he is beaten well in Argento and gets his mark lowered? He's such a good jumper and stays so well that I'd love to see him in a National. Especially seeing as Neptune Collonges was a classy horse. If IC gets dropped below 160 he'd have a right shout.
Report The Sweaty Sock January 16, 2013 10:37 AM GMT
Hi folks, glad to see you are all still around.

tried to post a couple of times but this forum doesn't seem to like ipads so back on the old laptop.

Cheers for heads up as usual Bobby. Good luck with IL today, form working out well and distance more adequate. Suppose you had to see how he was fairing against some good sorts last time out. Looks to only have one to beat today and should hopefully, barring an error, be visiting the winner's enclosure again today.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 16, 2013 7:52 PM GMT
Yes, "very exciting times for the stable" wit hall that talent WC, IL, PS & The New One.....roll on The Argento Bobby Devil
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 16, 2013 8:43 PM GMT
Giant Strides 13 Jan 13 09:15 Joined:
A decade on from Rebelline being the bane of my punting life,  I finally got some payback from her yesterday.
Pure Science looked good, but like his mother, I'd think soft ground is key.I don't expect it to run in March if it's not wet, but regardless I'll be following it.
Report EdwardWoowardWould January 18, 2013 6:34 PM GMT
Good luck Bobby

Patience is a virtue with these horse , I have had to wait on a few to come back in the past ( 1 worth the wait Cool , 1 not Sad )

Good luck with IC , a true chaser and 12 is buggger all as he has had an easy time of it lately


Report red and white January 24, 2013 7:09 PM GMT
IC hasn't had good luck over the past two years but the sitting ducks are lined up for him now. I'm convinced his chief rival will be out-stayed regardless of his breathing op.
Report The Sweaty Sock January 26, 2013 12:33 PM GMT
Good luck Commaner!
Report The Sweaty Sock January 26, 2013 12:35 PM GMT
Commander even! I really hope he shocks a few today and comes back safe. Never has got the respect he deserves.
Report Steamship January 26, 2013 2:13 PM GMT
Good luck to IC and Bobby today
Report Far From Trouble January 26, 2013 2:35 PM GMT
brave, brave performance. Gutted for Imperial Commander
Report red and white January 26, 2013 2:37 PM GMT
Chinned. Great race.
Report second again January 26, 2013 2:38 PM GMT
he ran a great race,hope he is ok int he morning.
Report red and white January 26, 2013 3:18 PM GMT
Chinned again. The New One One's jumping was fast apart from the second last. Augurs well for the big one.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan February 2, 2013 12:06 PM GMT

What's next for THE NEW ONE.....straight to the Neptune to take on ALEXANDRE the great.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan February 7, 2013 5:41 PM GMT
African Gold runs and WINS yet again ?????

Thu, 7th  Doncaster 1.55 British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing E.B.F. `National Hunt` Novices` Hurdle (Qualifier) 

Sat, 9th Feb  Newbury 1.50 Betfair. Don`t Settle For Less Handicap Hurdle 

Fri, 15th Mar  Cheltenham 2.40 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle (Grade 1)
Report Bobby Dazzler February 12, 2013 1:40 PM GMT
The New One will go to the Neptune, but African Gold remains very well handicapped so the Pertemps must be a live consideration.
Report red and white February 12, 2013 7:56 PM GMT
IC has a nice mark in the Grand National. He'd have an even nicer weight if the in-form Tidal Bay's revised mark wasn't such a joke. As eyebrow raising a piece of handicapping as Teaforthree's lenient treatment between his Cheltenham win and the Welsh National.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan February 12, 2013 11:43 PM GMT
THE NEW ONE and CHAMPAGNE FEVER to fight out the finish in the Neptune Devil
Report grocerjack February 13, 2013 11:14 AM GMT
Hope The Commander is still going on nicely at this stage as have had nibbles at 50's and 25's.i hear Sparky is happy at moment anyway.
Report red and white February 14, 2013 7:42 PM GMT
Tidal Bay now out. I'd love to see IC off 158 in the National (a massive 27lb below his best), though definitely not after a Gold Cup run as his trainer seems to be suggesting.
Report alleged22 February 24, 2013 8:13 PM GMT
any news on the new one? and is the pertemps still on the agenda for african gold?
Report Catch Me ifyoucan February 25, 2013 10:24 PM GMT
Nigel Twiston-Davies is aiming to complete Imperial Commander's serious preparation for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup with a racecourse gallop this weekend.

The returning hero appeared in decent nick when cantering up the trainer's gallops at Grange Hill Farm in Naunton on Monday.
Twiston-Davies said: "I was hoping to take him to Newbury on Saturday but they won't let us. They want us to go on Sunday, and if I can't find anywhere on Saturday or this week then we may go on the Sunday."

Reflecting on the Argento run, he said: "It was astonishingly good.
"If you'd offered me that second, I'd have been delighted as he'd had such a bad run up to it. He'd fractured the splint bone, he'd been swimming a lot but only had four weeks cantering and maybe that's not really enough. He doesn't seem an awful lot worse than he was three years ago."

The Welshman would never claim to be a form specialist and worries little about the claims of Imperial Commander.
Neither is he a subscriber to the 'bounce factor', where horses returning from a long absence can run well on their reappearance, only to disappoint next time.

"I thought that was when you come back very quick," he said.
"This is six weeks, so we're not coming back very quick. We let him down a bit, he didn't do anything the week after, and we've brought him back very gently. I can't see that."
Report red and white February 27, 2013 9:53 AM GMT
Interesting that the Argento run is described as astonishingly good. For me, Cape Tribulation is the fly in the ointment. How good is he? I've followed his career and until he met IC he's always fallen short against top class opposition. Malcolm Jefferson worked his magic last spring. Has he managed to improve him into from a very useful handicapper to a grade 1 performer at the age of nine? If he hasn't then IC has a mountain to climb. If he has then the trainer is indicating why the form can be overturned.
Report EdwardWoowardWould February 27, 2013 6:43 PM GMT
A lovely "Proper" chaser

I hope he runs well and could place but the young'ns are a decent bunch as could your see him finishing in front of the front6....NO imo

GL to connections though and hope he comes back well and safe
Report canny danny February 28, 2013 7:39 PM GMT
an old adage---form is temporary class is permanant
i hope IC can power up the hill again
Report Catch Me ifyoucan February 28, 2013 10:16 PM GMT
Twitter tonite - Danny Mullins ay preview nite - comes out with a corker: "Imperial Commander has more problems than a plane to Lourdes".
Report Catch Me ifyoucan February 28, 2013 10:17 PM GMT
Report Catch Me ifyoucan March 1, 2013 11:10 AM GMT
Imperial Leader is set to take his chance in the EBF Final at Sandown on Saturday week before running in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained five-year-old also holds an entry in the Coral Cup but is unlikely to make the cut in that race. After winning on his hurdling debut at Southwell, he finished a close fourth in a hot novices' hurdle at Cheltenham before a third at Newbury last time out.

Paul Costello, syndicate manager for his owners, the Imperial Racing Partnership, said: "Imperial Leader will be running in the EBF Final before hopefully heading to the Festival.

"Hopefully he'll go close at Sandown, if not win.
"He's in the Martin Pipe and the Coral, but the way the weights are we are probably going for the Martin Pipe.
"His form is pretty strong - he was fourth at Cheltenham in a novices' hurdle won by Melodic Rendezvous - and he'll improve for the better ground."
Report grocerjack March 1, 2013 11:15 AM GMT
Should we be worried about lack of input by Dazzler?
Report BarryM March 5, 2013 4:46 PM GMT
Imperial Commander out of the gold cup due to a lung infection. Bad luck for connections, although there is the chance he could be OK for Aintree. If he is, it might just turn into good luck for connections, because tbh I couldn't see him in the first 3 at Cheltenham, but he has a real chance in the national if he goes there fresh.
Report red and white March 5, 2013 6:06 PM GMT
I was thinking the same thing. Shame he misses the Gold Cup as we know he loves Cheltenham but he had nothing to prove there, and if he recovers in time I do think the handicapper has given him a great chance in the Grand National off 158. It's 27lbs below his best rating. Good luck Bobby.
Report grocerjack March 5, 2013 7:23 PM GMT
Thought as much.bad luck.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan March 8, 2013 1:43 PM GMT
btw IL is 14/1 in Sandown at 2.05 tomorow.....BofL Paul Devil
Report The Sweaty Sock March 28, 2013 10:58 AM GMT
Hi Bobby,

I believe a decision is expected this Saturday? I seem to remember you rightly saying as it happened IC  wasn't that keen on Aintree. Do you think it might take to the National though? Best of luck if you go for the big one and hope that if you do he keeps pulling out more at the business end as he may be there to be shot at with the weight. It would be a tremendous performance if he can carry it off. I know you will make the right choice for the horse and it's safety. Good luck! Brian.
Report red and white April 1, 2013 7:25 PM BST
I guess all Imperial Commander's fans are on for the National by now. I believe he'll win. Head or heart? Both. I sense the thread is drawing to a close. Do we have a final 'thumbs up' from Julius Caesar (100BC)?
Report Steamship April 1, 2013 7:52 PM BST
He definately goes I've just seen the preview and it is confirmed.
Report The Sweaty Sock April 1, 2013 8:28 PM BST
Hi Steam, What did Ian say about IC?
Report BJG April 1, 2013 8:39 PM BST
Imperial_Racing ‏@Imperial_Racing 4m

BREAKING NEWS - Imperial Commander now confirmed to run of top weight in the Grand National live on @Racing_UK 16/1 best priced
Report The Sweaty Sock April 1, 2013 8:53 PM BST
hope he wins, got £4 on at just over 100/1.
Report Steamship April 2, 2013 7:15 AM BST
sweaty sock- Go to jp festival or imperial racing and the vid may still be up
Report The Sweaty Sock April 6, 2013 12:10 PM BST
Good Luck Commander!
Report BarryM April 6, 2013 5:57 PM BST
Back in one piece at least. Couldn't really agree with Sam's assessment that he jumped brilliantly, but hopefully now a happy retirement with lots of good memories.
Report Sherlock.Holmes October 23, 2013 7:50 PM BST
Report BJG November 22, 2013 2:48 PM GMT
GOLD Cup hero Imperial Commander will be retired after his next race to bring an end to one of the most successful careers in racing.

Ian Robinson, co-owner and spokesman for the Our Friends In The North syndicate, said the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury tomorrow week would be his swansong.

Now aged 12, Imperial Commander has been one of the best horses ever trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies at his top stable in Guiting Power, providing him with his first Gold Cup success three years ago.

He raced only twice last season because of training setbacks, finishing a close second at Cheltenham and being pulled up in the Grand National in April.

Robinson said he and the other members of the syndicate agreed that he wouldn't race again after the Hennessy – one of the most famous prizes in the sport – in which he is expected to be partnered by regular rider Paddy Brennan.

"I think it's safe to say the Hennessy will be his last race," said Robinson.

"He had a little bit of a niggle before he went out in the summer and he's come back in looking grand and really well.

"But he is 12 after all and we've got no desire to race him as a 13-year-old, so basically we decided to give him one last hurrah.

"He's still enjoying himself and he's a happy horse, but I think the Hennessy will be it.

"There's nothing more for him after that and we certainly have no intention of running him in the new year.

"All the owners are 100 per cent behind the fact it should be his last race."

Imperial Commander burst on to the racing scene when easily winning on his debut, under David England in a bumper at Cheltenham in October 2006.

After winning only one of his five races over hurdles, he went on to prove himself one of the best horses of his generation over fences.

He stormed to victory in the 2008 Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Ryanair Chase at the 2009 Festival, both times ridden by Brennan.

He gained his most famous success in the 2010 Gold Cup, which he had controversially been billed as match between Kauto Star and Denman.

But Imperial Commander and Brennan gained the day, beating Denman by seven lengths after Kauto Star suffered a crashing fall.

Imperial Commander has won eight of his 21 races and more than £700,000 in prize-money and Robinson said he would never have another horse like him.

"He owes us nothing and he's taken us to places most people only dream of going," he said.

"People spend fortunes and haven't been to places where we've been."
Report Autocue November 22, 2013 4:26 PM GMT
Good, sad to see former greats dropping down the handicap. Hope he gets round safely.
Report The RealDeal November 22, 2013 11:11 PM GMT
Not sad, superb to have one last chance to see the mighty Commander run in a great race, you never know.......!
Report Autocue November 23, 2013 12:02 PM GMT
Well you saw him run in the Grand National. Did that enhance or diminish his reputation?
Report BarryM November 23, 2013 1:55 PM GMT
If he reproduces his first run of last year he could well win this. Nigel seems very bullish.
Report Ibrahima Sonko November 23, 2013 7:52 PM GMT
Love the horse, but my brother is crazy about him. Ever since he backed in the PP.

I bought him a glossy framed picture of IC for xmas a couple years back, it is still on his living room wall.

Will never forget the day when he won the gold cup, my brother was mental for 2 days and he didnt win that much, it was more about IC & NTD (he adores NTD).

Happy days.

Enjoy the your retirement Imperial Commander.

BD, let us know where he will be retired to.
Report Autocue December 1, 2013 11:29 AM GMT
That's twice he has looked like an ex boxing champ coming back to the ring, putting up a show, then taking a fall to avoid getting hit. Not the horse's fault by any means. Great in his time but for me it's a shame his career petered out like that. Hope he has a happy retirement.
Report The RealDeal December 1, 2013 9:30 PM GMT
Think we need a more positive comment on the thread. Clearly time has caught up but he bowled along at the head of affairs for a good while and thanks for all the good days over the last few years. Happy retirement Commander. BD, please share any future news on here.
Report John.W.Henry. January 26, 2014 6:58 PM GMT
Just for Dessie Cool
Report gutfeeling March 4, 2014 10:53 PM GMT
Just read a great article by Ian Robinson on the 2014 Cheltenham festival where he is now blogging at
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