Imperial Commander ruled out of Gold Cup

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Former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander has been ruled out of next Friday's (March 15th) Cheltenham Gold Cup with a lung infection.

The 12-year-old, who managed to stave off competition from ex-winners Denman and Kauto Star to triumph in 2010, may run instead at Aintree's Grand National meeting next month.

Imperial Commander was hoping to become only the second horse in history – after Kauto Star – to regain the Gold Cup having missed the last two races through injury.

Indeed, the horse only returned from 680 days off to finish a tight second to Cape Tribulation at Cheltenham in January and he was a 16-1 chance for the Gold Cup next week, but now it appears he won't be needing veteran horse insurance after all.

The horse's trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies told BBC Sport that he wants to run the equine in the National provided he recovers in time.

"He's had little setbacks and hasn't realised his full potential," he said.

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