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Twiston-Davies Wary of Nicholls Yard Threat


With the build-up to the 2011 Cheltenham Festival in full effect, popular conditioner Nigel Twiston-Davies has pointed to two stalwarts as the ones to watch out for in the Gold Cup. Kauto Star and Denman, the dynamic duo of the Paul Nicholls yard, are supposedly the contenders that have the trainer of Imperial Commander, Long Run and Diamond Harry the most concerned.

Speaking at a press conference, Twiston-Davies declared “I fear the old brigade of Kauto Star and Denman more than any others.”

With Imperial Commander set to return to defend his Gold Cup Crown after a solitary run in the 2010/11 National Hunt season, Twiston-Davies sounded a bit up-in-the-air his other two contenders – one of whom, Long Run, trades as the second favourite behind Imperial Commander. He stated, “I’m not sure if the undulations of the track will suit the likes of Diamond Harry and Long Run.”

Asked about Imperial Commander’s recent sessions on the gallops, Twiston-Davies seemed adamant that the lack of races this year would be tempered by some quality pre-Cheltenham workouts. In recent days, Imperial Commander has been out at Warwick and Kempton and the way he is moving appears to satiate Twiston-Davies appetite for quality jumping. “You can see from the gallops that he’s tanking along and in good form… If he’s not fit after them, he never will be.”

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