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."
10 October 2015Mangan hoping for Munster magic from Perfect Promise
Massaat leads Sheikh Hamdan assault on Dewhurst at Newmarket
Sir Mark Prescott bids to end Cesarewitch drought
Aidan O'Brien: Every chance Gleneagles will run at Ascot
Breeders' Cup 'possibility' for King George winner Postponed
'Truly exceptional' Minding has Ryan Moore purring after Fillies' Mile
Cable Bay proves up to the Challenge for Frankie Dettori
Victory for Saeed bin Suroor's First in Oh So Sharp Stakes
Jack Hobbs delights John Gosden in Newmarket gallop
Gifted Master in 'sparkling form' for Autumn Stakes, says Hugo Palmer
Marco Botti sprint star sent Trophy-hunting at York
9 October 2015Tony Martin trio revved up for Cesarewitch challenge
Quiet Reflection storms to Newmarket success for Karl Burke
Mouse Morris seeks Munster National divinity with Rogue Angel
Dynaste makes French connection for David Pipe
Hugo Palmer cool on Covert Love Breeders' Cup bid
Tote Jackpot to undergo major facelift
Air Force Blue 'very popular' ahead of red-hot Dewhurst
Dhahmaan enters uncharted territory at York for Marco Botti
Classy Lumiere to stay with Mark Johnston
Mystifiable defies absence to reward Exeter backers
Andrew Balding lines up raid on Balmoral Handicap
Paul Townend hit with ten-day ban at Tramore
Jonjo O'Neill outlines chasing plan for More Of That
Marcus Tregoning's promising Alamode returns in Oh So Sharp Stakes
Promising Run on Mile high for Newmarket quest
Karl Burke pauses for Quiet Reflection in Cornwallis
Godolphin and Local Time playing for Pride at Newmarket
Shining Emerald gleaming for Newmarket Challenge
8 October 2015Lengthy whip ban for Pat Dobbs
Powerful Aidan O'Brien squad leaves for Melbourne
Godolphin ace Emotionless in demand for Dewhurst
Francois Doumen sets sail for Ascot with Sea Calisi
Sire De Grugy 'unlikely to run' at Chepstow, says Gary Moore
Clever Cookie team sweet on Long Distance Cup at Ascot
Champions Day looks divine for Gabriel's Lad
Godolphin set to supplement Racing History for Champion Stakes at Ascot
One-day bans for riders in Kempton 'wrong stalls' incident
Ryan Moore takes the plaudits with Nottingham victory
Bertimont injury blow for Dan Skelton
Winning start over fences for smart hurdler Violet Dancer
Grand National winner Pineau De Re set for final season
Gordon Elliott outlines early plans for stable star Don Cossack
Sam Twiston-Davies relishing top job with Paul Nicholls
Aidan O'Brien's Minding and Coolmore lead Fillies' Mile field at Newmarket
Aidan O'Brien decides against sending Order Of St George to Melbourne
7 October 2015Wesley Ward keen to secure Frankie Dettori for Breeders' Cup rides
Nick Attenborough and John Blake take up charity roles
Rain wanted for Cirrus Des Aigles ahead of Champions Day at Ascot
New series of races announced by BHA and Jockey Club Racecourses
Andre Fabre waiting on Esoterique Breeders' Cup decision
Nicky Richards considering Cheltenham target for Simply Ned
Ascot ground key to Decorated Knight's QEII run
Market Rasen option for Malcolm Jefferson's Cyrus Darius
Air Force Blue on track for Dewhurst - Aidan O'Brien
Frankie Dettori dreaming of America for Golden Horn
Mecca's Angel ruled out of Champions Sprint reckoning
Guineas heroine Legatissimo likely to race on in 2016
Eduard injury blow for Nicky Richards
Paddy Power option for David Pipe's Kings Palace
Andre Fabre unveils Lockinge option for Make Believe
Andre Fabre hoping for 2016 campaign with Arc third New Bay
Henry Candy eager to step up to a mile with Foret second Limato