Saturday’s King George VI Chase could have been a re-match between Imperial Commander and Kauto Star.
But Nigel Twiston-Davies’ appeal has been rejected by the British Horse racing Authority prompting the trainer to question the men in charge.
Imperial Commander is 9/2 in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting and will not run now until March 18th, leaving the horse fresh for a crack at retaining his Gold Cup crown.
Kauto Star has Cheltenham Gold Cup odds of 5/1 and is 4/6 to win the King George VI Chase on Saturday and a £25 double on Kauto Star winning both races would return £250.
New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.
Imperial Commander was originally in the line-up for the King George on Boxing Day, but was ruled out of the rearranged King George VI Chase due to an injury he sustained when winning the Betfair Chase.
“For me, surely it is sensible to put it back to the six-day stage and if it did, you could make a supplementary entry, but they seem to be determined to not have the best horses in the race,” said Twiston-Davies.
Since his injury Imperial Commander has been showing strong signs of recovery at home and Twiston-Davies was hoping to use the race as a warm-up for the Gold Cup.
But the decision by the BHA to not let Imperial Commander run is a blessing in disguise for Twiston-Davies as the horse that is considered a Cheltenham specialist, has lost heavily to Kauto Star on his last two outings at Kempton.
A fresh Imperial Commander means he has a better chance of winning his second Cheltenham Gold Cup – something only six horses have previously managed in the Gold Cup’s history.
A £25 stake on Imperial Commander winning the Gold Cup would return £137.50. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.