Crockford considers if the 2010 Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander is a Dead Cert for the Grand National 2013
With the top weight Imperial Commander still in at the five day declaration stage the likelihood of the 2010 Gold Cup winner taking to the field look greater and greater. Nigel Twiston-Davies is bullish about his chances claiming in the press that his horse is “three stone well in” on his best form and holds an outstanding chance of pulling off the biggest double in the sport.
There is no doubt that his come back run in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham showed that all of his ability remained, when he was just tipped to the post by the staying on Cape Tribulation. Quoted at 16/1 for Saturday’s contest punters may well ask if he is fully recovered from the setbacks that prevented his Cheltenham Festival run and if the change of jockey (with Paddy Brennan) being unavailable will affect his chances. Crockford is confident that connections will only let him take his chance if he is fully fit and it is worth backers noting that he runs well fresh. With Sam Twiston-Davies taking the ride, a story of father and son success could be in the making. Sam knows also how to pilot horses around the big Aintree obstacles as demonstrated most recently with his emotional victory on the veteran Hello Bud.
Twiston-Davies knows how to win the race having claimed the prize with Earth Summit (1998)and Bindaree (2002) and has told the media that he is confident that the ground that the runners will face on Saturday will be in his Gold Cup winners favour. Could the hat-trick of Grand National wins be in the offing at the weekend? Well, if Imperial Commander is fully recovered, if he takes to the obstacles and if most importantly he has luck in running which is essential in the great race, then just may be.
The yard will also be represented by the two outsiders; Viking Blond and Major Malarkey. Viking Blond on a going day holds claims of a place but everything would have to go in their way.
At 16/1 the price of the hat-trick certainly has each way value about it. Crockford would not be bold enough to say that Imperial Commander is a Dead Cert for the Grand National 2013 though
(Featured Photograph – Imperial Commander at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)
(Photograph – Imperial Commander and Golden Chieftain in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham 2013 by Stuart Rice)