Imperial Commander: will miss Saturday's Betfair ChasePICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Injured Commander to miss Betfair Chase
IMPERIAL COMMANDER will miss his intended comeback in Saturday's Betfair Chase after sustaining an injury during his preparation.
The 2010 Gold Cup winner had been off the racecourse since bursting a blood vessel when pulled up in the 2011 renewal, and suffered a minor tendon injury last September that further delayed his return. He rejoined trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies two months ago and recent work suggested he was ready to pick up the threads of his career in the Haydock race he won in the same season as his Cheltenham triumph.
However, on Tuesday Twiston-Davies reported that all plans had been put on hold until the New Year after scans revealed a fracture that will keep him off the gallops until at least Christmas.
The trainer said: "The vet came and x-rayed him and we thought it was nothing, but it turned out to be a non-displaced fracture of the inside splint bone on his right hind leg. He must have hit it and although it's nothing major, and it's completely independent of any injury he's had in the past, we won't be able to work him for six weeks, which means the Betfair Chase and the King George are both out of the equation and we need to start planning again.
"We'll carry on swimming him, so we won't lose too much time, and the obvious target would seem to be [the Argento Chase at] Cheltenham in January.
"It's a real blow for us but these things happen in racing and we just have to get on with it."