Former Gold Cup hero Imperial Commander will attempt to regain his crown at Cheltenham this year...
"It was an astonishingly good run at Cheltenham. If you had offered me that second I would have been delighted because he had such a bad run up to it..."
Nigel Twiston-Davies said: "His preparation has all gone very smoothly - I couldn't be more pleased. I want to give him a racecourse gallop somewhere this weekend - he is looking lovely.
"I was hoping to take him to Newbury on Saturday but they won't let us - they want us to go on Sunday. If I cannot find anywhere on Saturday or earlier this week then I might go on Sunday.
"It was an astonishingly good run at Cheltenham. If you had offered me that second I would have been delighted because he had such a bad run up to it - the fact that he had fractured a splint bone and had been swimming a lot but there is no substitute for cantering. He had only four weeks of cantering beforehand and that is not really enough. He was not fit that day and he ran a superb race.
"I cannot see him being an awfully lot worse than he was when he won the Gold Cup, despite being three years older. He seems in very good nick. The others in the Gold Cup have not won a Gold Cup before except for Long Run.
"Any trainer is only as good as his horses and Imperial Commander is a very good horse. I am not taking any credit.
"Someone will have to explain the bounce theory to me. He is not coming back very quick - this is six weeks after his run. He has been let down a bit after his second - he did not do anything the week after and we have brought him back gently. I cannot see that being an issue. I have not seen the bounce factor in other horses."
Imperial Commander, who has a Timeform weight-adjusted rating of 174? for the Gold Cup, can be backed at 20.019/1.