Cheltenham Gold Cup winner set for Kempton clash with Kauto Star

William Hill

Tagged under: 3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase 3m 2 1/2f

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Imperial Commander looks set to take on Kauto Star in the King George VI Chase after he cantered on Wednesday.

Prior to his workout, connections were concerned that the cut suffered by the Gold Cup favourite on his last outing when winning the Betfair Chase, would re-open and force him out of the Boxing Day feature.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies told At The Races: ”It's been causing us anxiety but the really good news today is he's had his first canter since. The worry is the cut will open again but it didn't and we're really, really happy and think we're going to get to Kempton now.“

Twiston-Davies is adamant his charge has the ability to deny Kauto Star a record breaking fifth King George crown at Kempton despite failing in two previous attempts on the right-handed course.

The trainer went on to stress: "Last year in the King George he got blinded at the second fence and basically split the fence and he was knocked out the race. He actually ran on very well to finish fifth or sixth. The year before he took the race to Kauto Star and was there to the turn for home and then faded - not because he couldn't go right-handed but his lungs were full of muck.

"It's not the track, he's just a difficult horse to have right on the day. When he is right I'm hoping he's nearly unbeatable but we'll see."

Race sponsors William Hill bet 11/8 for Kauto Star to prove good enough to make history on Boxing Day and they bet 8/1 that 2010 will prove third time lucky for Imperial Commander.

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