Imperial Commander did much to put the quest to regain his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown back on track with a pleasing racecourse gallop at Chepstow.
Nigel Twiston-Davies sent the gelding - yet to run this season after suffering a minor setback - on a lap of the course before the Welsh National card began.
Ridden by the trainer's son, Sam, Imperial Commander was accompanied by Ransom Note, but was not asked any searching questions.
Afterwards Twiston-Davies said: "It was important to get him out for a change of scenery. He was due to come back in the Betfair Chase but an old injury flared up and scuppered us.
"Sam was delighted with him and that will do him the power of good. In fact it's the second time he's come here for a workout this season.
"All being well he will now run in a Gold Cup trial, the old Pillar Chase (Argento) at Cheltenham, and then go on to try to win the Gold Cup again.
"He did it very nicely and we'll have to see how he's come out of it. It wasn't very exacting, but he didn't blow very much, and I might even given him one more racecourse gallop before going to Cheltenham for the Argento (January 26)."
Winner of the 2010 Gold Cup, Imperial Commander has had only three outings since, his last being when pulled up in the 2011 running of the Cheltenham showpiece.
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