• Cheltenham Festival

Commander ruled out of Gold Cup

ESPN staff
March 5, 2013
Imperial Commander will not be at next week's Cheltenham Festival © PA Photos

The 2010 Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander has been ruled out of this year's renewal on account of a lung infection.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies had nursed his stable star back to fitness and he made an encouraging return to action when second in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham in January.

Things had gone well in the past six weeks, but he was found to be wrong when scoped on Tuesday and will now miss next week's Cheltenham Festival.

"He's got a lung infection, so he won't be going to Cheltenham, that's that," Twiston-Davies said. "It's an absolute sickener, but they are very delicate creatures."

Imperial Commander is still engaged in the Grand National and he could still take his chance at Aintree.

Twiston-Davies said: "I'm sure he's still as good as ever, he's been in great form, but you can't rush them. Hopefully he'll be okay for Liverpool."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.