Imperial Commander came through a crucial racecourse workout with flying colours as the 2010 Gold Cup hero passed another test on his way to the Betfair Chase.
The 11-year-old, who has been sidelined since being pulled up in the 2011 Gold Cup, worked two miles at Towcester in the hands of his regular race partner Paddy Brennan.
The big race at Haydock on November 24, which Imperial Commander won two years ago, is still very much the plan for the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained gelding.
"The enthusiasm in Paddy's voice when he phoned me shortly before 8.00am told me everything I needed to know. He was delighted with Imperial Commander's performance," part-owner Ian Robinson said in his blog on www.imperial-horseracing.com
"Imperial worked over two miles with an unraced four-year-old bumper horse (who is very highly regarded), finishing upsides and showing plenty of enthusiasm.
"Overall, Imperial gave him a much better feel than in his final Warwick workout before the 2011 Gold Cup, and was moving as well as he has in the last three years.
"Whilst he had a good blow afterwards, his recovery rate suggests he will arrive at the Betfair Chase ready to do himself justice."
Brennan, too, could not contain his delight. "Very happy with Imperial Commander this morning, his class is still firmly intact. Can't wait for Haydock," tweeted the jockey.
David Bridgwater reports last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up The Giant Bolster to be on target for the Merseyside feature.
He said: "The Betfair Chase is the likely starting point for The Giant Bolster. He has been all right since he came back from his summer break and is in good form. We have got the same campaign mapped out as everybody else. After Haydock, it will be the King George and then the Gold Cup."
3 August 2015Pearl shines at Nottingham
Bright new Dawn at Naas
Casey hoping for swift resumption
Undrafted set to swerve Haydock
'Awesome' Acapulco primed for York
Tropics set for Breeders' Cup trip
Winters ponders next Rebel move
Sails set for Newbury
Hot aiming to burn off rivals
No return date set for Spring
Ground key to Belardo targets
No hurry for Pharoah target
Phenomenal Pharoah does it again
Longford edges Galway thriller
Impact too strong at Chester
Fitz foiled on comeback
Baraweez in Galway repeat
McCullagh 'on the mend'
Amazing summer continues for Maria
Intilaaq camp on weather watch
Basem to step up in grade
Mini-break good for Horn - Gosden
Hobbs considered for Newbury trial
2 August 2015Dream week continues for Martin
Panama has American dream
Cyclone could stick to hurdling
Now Or Never excites O'Callaghan
Ervedya tackles Rothschild test
Mullins dominates Galway feature
Harty looking forward to a good Day
'Overwhelmed' Hughes bows out
Legatissimo stamps class on Nassau
Magical Dettori top gun at Goodwood
Dart hits Goodwood bullseye
Fantastic Frankie takes right Steps
Latharnach could drop back in trip
McNamara eager for training career
1 August 2015Rebel returns at Galway
No fairytale ending for Hughes
Stewards' glory for Magical Dettori
Legatissimo proves Nassau queen
Times targets Stewards' consolation
Hughes reflects on a golden career
Warrior books Ebor ticket
Muthmir makes amends
Hughes at his best on Bay
Mile proves golden for Beloved
Malabar stamps her class
Dettori guides Dubday to landmark
Charlton so Close to historic win
Diamonds ready to sparkle in Nassau
31 July 2015Pacy Muthmir rules in King George
Breizh bids for Galway glory
Pharoah Phan Phestival good to go
Jack's the lad in Galway Hurdle
Gosden salutes 'magical' Sir Peter
Laviniad gets up late in Corrib
Simple for Beckett and Bentley
Orange pips Goodwood rivals
Shalaa dazzles in Richmond
Relief for Hughes as Gibeon strikes
Cover up for Goodwood defence