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Nic Ladds 8th Dec 2008 - 13:53

Twiston-Davies confident Imperial Commander can rule again

Nigel Twiston-Davies believes that his Imperial Commander who is 2/1 favourite in the betting for this weekend's Boylesports.com Gold Cup can complete a famous Cheltenham double having already won the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November.

Some of the best two-milers and three-milers collide in this race which has been the springboard for some superstars over the years like Jonjo O'Neill's Exotic Dancer and Phillip Hobbs' Monkerhostin.

When looking for the winner it is worth noting that Irish trained runners have a good record in the race and very few who have headed the betting have actually gone on to win.

Imperial Commander has already been installed in the betting for the King George VI at 12/1 and for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at 20/1 but victory in the Boylesports will see his price be pushed in further.

The manner of his victory in the Paddy Power was certainly impressive and his trainer even feels that he'll have improved for that run. Imperial Commander has already won four times at Cheltenham so will have no problem with the fences or the tough uphill finish.

Nicky Henderson's Barbershop who was beaten into second in the Boylesports has since franked the form by winning cosily at Sandown against some decent horses.

Henderson himself who has a knack of winning Saturday's big races has 8/1 third favourite My Petra entered. My Petra has an excellent chance but is unlikely to run if the ground is too soft which is entirely possible and it would therefore be best to swerve My Petra until we know if it will take its place on Saturday.

Paul Nicholls always has runners with big chances in any race and despite recent questions over his stable's form many will feel Silverburn has an outstanding chance for the Boylesports.

Silverburn, a full brother to Gold Cup favourite Denman, is currently priced at 5/1 to reverse the Paddy Power form with Imperial Commander. Silverburn did not help his cause that day by hitting the first fence extremely hard then clouting the second last as well.

It is unlikely he would have turned over Imperial Commander but certainly would have finished a lot closer than sixth and he is likely to win a big prize soon.

He is now 12 pounds better off with Imperial Commander than he was in the Paddy Power which will undoubtedly give Nicholls more optimism of reversing the placings.

At a bigger price an interesting runner is the Venetia Williams trained Stan. At 25/1 Stan has won at Cheltenham, will go on any ground, the distance will be fine and he made a fantastic reappearance this season finishing second at Ascot, before being pulled up in the Paddy Power chase. If Williams' horse takes his place on Saturday then he should put in a big run at a massive price.

The Tom Taaffe trained Finger On The Pulse at 10/1 is a very interesting runner. The Irish have an excellent record in the race and Taaffe will not be sending the horse over here without it having a big chance.

Finger On The Pulse has a similar form line to that of Imperial Commander as he to beat Paddy Power second and subsequential winner Barbershop. The victory came in the Jewson at Cheltenham last season.

The horse has made an excellent start to the season firstly winning a Grade 3 race in Ireland then finishing second behind Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Noland. It was a fantastic run when you consider Finger On The Pulse was conceding three pounds to a horse that is rated eleven pounds better than him.

The Irish raider will be carrying less weight than Imperial Commander and while the Twiston-Davies horse is a worthy favourite, at around five times the price, Finger On The Pulse looks sure to give a punters a big run.

Finger On The Pulse - 10/1

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