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Imperial Commander Set for Cheltenham Workout at Kempton


Any punters attending the live racing at Kempton this Saturday can show up an hour before the first post to catch the current Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite in a gallops session. Unraced since November, connections have opted for the defending Gold Cup winner to enjoy a two mile session over the course, which is expected to be listed as good to soft (good in places).

Speaking to At The Races, prominent conditioner Nigel Twiston-Davies was bullish on IC’s recent form and festival chances. “Things have gone really well since Imperial Commander went to Warrick. He worked again this morning and he’s working on Saturday.”

Twiston-Davies also confirmed that Khyber Kim, one of his yard’s most interesting shouts for festival glory, would be out for a run on Saturday as well. The nine year-old son of Mujahid ran second to Binocular in the 2010 edition of the Champion Hurdle and he’s been firmly pointed in that direction once again. His sole effort this year was in a seasonal debut at Kempton where he finished a disappointing fourth to Binocular in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle.

Punters will find Khyber Kim floating around 20/1 for the Champion Hurdle upset.

A clean workout session for Imperial will likely give punters their best chance since November to gauge whether he’ll be able to repeat his 2010 heroics against the likes of Kauto Star and Denman once again. If he looks off for any particular reason or doesn’t move well, one may see his ante post price fluctuate.

Imperial Commander can currently be backed at around 7/2 for back to back Cheltenham Gold Cups. 

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