Many horse racing fans will be calling for Imperial Commander to be retired after his latest injury setback, but he should remain on shortlists for possible winners of the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Imperial Commander has suffered a small fracture to one of his hind legs and as a result he has not only had to be withdrawn from the Betfair Chase, but has been ruled out until the new year.
The horse has not been seen since pulling up in the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup with a broken blood vessel, while he has also encountered a tendon injury since.
He remains 50/1 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has previous for bringing a horse back to its best following a lengthy injury absence.
The horse in question is Earth Summit, who suffered a near-fatal ligament injury at Haydock which kept him off the track for 21 months.
However, he was nursed back slowly to action and ended up winning the 1998 Grand National.
The King George on Boxing Day is also out of the question for Imperial Commander, but the good news is that the injury is in no way related to any of the problems that have impacted him previously.
Furthermore, although he will do no schooling or cantering for six weeks, he can still maintain some sort of fitness through swimming.
The Argento Chase at Cheltenham in January looks to be the new target for his racecourse return and if getting through this unscathed, he will be far stronger heading to March’s Festival.
Hopes were clearly high before the latest injury, as he pleased connections and most notably jockey Paddy Brennan in the work he was doing at home.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date