Imperial Commander was certainly Nigel Twiston-Davies best chance at winning the 2013 Grand National, with his other three entries falling short of the mark and unlikely to get a place on the starting line.
And with both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the National potentially on the cards things were going in the right direction until it was announced that Imperial Commander had suffered a lung infection which ruled him out of Cheltenham but still left him in the National should he recover in time, which he duly did.
He was handed 11-06 by the BHA Handicapper which was increased to 11-10 after the rise in weights but it still wasn’t insurmountable and was certainly within his capability as he frequently ran off more than that but two years out with injuries saw his Official Rating take a dip from a high of 185 back down to 164 – which by the way was still one of the best in the race.
From 16 chase starts he had won six of them and placed second twice and over his career had earned connections over £700K due in part to the fact that he is also a Gold Cup winner from when he beat out Denman in March 2010.
He was 12 years old and despite a gutsy display in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham in January, off the back of a lung infection and with near top weight he struggled in the 2013 Grand National and the best that Sam Twiston-Davies could manage was getting him to Bechers Brook on the second circuit before pulling him up.
A fantastic horse but with age not on his side it’s unlikely that he will run in the 2014 National.
Photo Credit | Meteorshoweryn
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