It may be some time away, but the Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of horse racing’s marquee events, and fans are looking forward to the 2013 event already. One of the biggest issues leading up to the event is the status of the currently-injured Imperial Commander. Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, this horse has suffered a number of setbacks as the result of a small fracture to one of his hind legs. This means he has had to sit out the Betfair Chase and won’t be able to race until the New Year at best.
As a result of his injury, some pundits are calling for Imperial Commander to be retired, saying that his best days are behind him. However, under the steady hand of Twiston-Davies, recovery isn’t impossible, plus the trainer has previous when it comes to nursing injured horses back to health and getting them into the winners’ circle. In 1998, he famously won the Grand National with Earth Summit not long after suffering a serious ligament injury, and there’s a chance that he could repeat that feat once again.
To some people’s surprise, Imperial Commander’s odds for the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup are at 50-1. At a price that long, he may be worth an each-way punt with Horse Racing at Ladbrokes, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to make it. However, the current injury is apparently unrelated to previous problems that have dogged him throughout his career. Also, he’s not the first horse to succumb to injury, so there’s every chance he could recapture his former glory.
In the meantime, Imperial Commander is highly unlikely to make the King George meeting on Boxing Day, which is a big blow, but the upside of that is he will get more recovery time and may yet be raring to go for the Gold Cup. If so, those who’ve taken those odds of 50-1 will feel pretty good about themselves if their faith hasn’t been misplaced. If not, the naysayers will feel justified in questioning whether Imperial Commander can return once more to the zenith of horse racing.