Belfast Telegraph

The Punter: Commander’s golden moment now puts him ahead of Denman

Imperial Commander’s superb win in the Gold Cup has seen him jump over Denman in the official ratings which are used to indicate the top horses based on performances.

Handicapper Phil Smith has given Nigel Twiston-Davies’ chaser a mark of 185 which puts him 3lbs ahead of Denman but still 8lbs behind Kauto Star whose best mark of 193 was achieved with his fourth win in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Kauto, of course, came to grief when falling four out last Friday when he attempted to win the Gold Cup for a third time. The question is whether all three turn up at Prestbury Park next March.

The Commander should be there, all being well, and while Kauto and Denman will be 11-years-old by then, it cannot be ruled out that they too will have another go, although the best target for Denman is surely the 2011 Aintree Grand National for which he looks tailor-made.

And wouldn’t it be something if he gave Tony McCoy his first National success. Don’t rule it out, although AP will be more than keen to win it next month rather than wait another year.

Meanwhile, Albertas Run who won the Ryanair Chase under McCoy, bypasses this year’s National which gives the champion jockey one less option for the race this time around on April 10. Last year’s winner Mon Mome did himself no harm for a repeat after his third in the Gold Cup.

Skybet ante-post Gold Cup 2011: 4-1 Imperial Commander; 6-1 Kauto; 8-1 Denman; 10-1 Weapon’s Amnesty; 14-1 Somersby; 16-1 Punchestowns; 20-1 Long Run.

Paddy Power: 4-1 Imperial Commander; |6-1 Kauto; 8-1 Denman; 10-1 Weapons Amnesty; 12-1 Big Buck’s; 14-1 Punchestowns; 16-1 Somersby; Long Run; Cooldine; 20-1 Joncol.

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