Commander in Imperial form Planet poised for the Ryanair
Part-owner Hugh Doubtfire believes Imperial Commander is in the form of his life ahead of his crack at the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Last season's Ryanair Chase hero was just a nose behind dual Gold Cup hero Kauto Star in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November but then ran no sort of race in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Doubtfire hopes a return to his beloved Cheltenham will see him bounce back after delighting connections when working with leading Champion Hurdle contender Khyber Kim earlier this week.
"To have a winner at the Festival was amazing and just to be part of the Gold Cup this year is fantastic for us," Doubtfire said. "He worked on Tuesday with Kyhber Kim and worked very, very well indeed.
"I think the stable would possibly say he's better than he was when he won the Ryanair."
Planet poised for the Ryanair
Philip Hobbs reports his Ryanair Chase contender Planet Of Sound none the worse following his crashing fall at Ascot last month.
The eight-year-old landed Exeter's William Hill Gold Cup on his first start of the season before chasing home Albertas Run in the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot.
He only made it as far as the fifth fence on his return to Berkshire, but Hobbs does not believe that has affected his charge ahead of his Cheltenham assignment.
"The first time at Ascot he made a mistake and still ran well in the race, but on this occasion he ran right into the bottom of the fence and didn't make any attempt to jump it," Hobbs said.
"It was really disappointing, but thankfully he is perfectly all right and it doesn't seem to have affected him.
"We started schooling him over smaller obstacles to get his confidence back, but he didn't seem to need any confidence and he has since schooled well over full-size fences no problem."