Nigel Twiston-Davies is aiming to complete Imperial Commander's serious preparation for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup with a racecourse gallop this weekend.
The 2010 winner is a frequent visitor to tracks away from competitive action and his trainer remains confident that despite reaching the venerable age of 12, he can still give his younger opponents a run for their money.
The course specialist has been dogged by injury since his prestigious success and was pulled up lame when attempting to defend his title a year later.
Returning to action for the first time since the 2011 mishap in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham last month, Imperial Commander was involved in a thrilling battle with Cape Tribulation and only just came off second best.
The returning hero appeared in decent nick when cantering up the trainer's gallops at Grange Hill Farm in Naunton on Monday.
Twiston-Davies said: "I was hoping to take him to Newbury on Saturday, but they won't let us. They want us to go on Sunday, and if I can't find anywhere on Saturday or this week then we may go on the Sunday."
Reflecting on the Argento run, he said: "It was astonishingly good. If you'd offered me that second, I'd have been delighted as he'd had such a bad run up to it.
"He'd fractured the splint bone, he'd been swimming a lot but only had four weeks cantering, and maybe that's not really enough. He doesn't seem an awful lot worse than he was three years ago."
The handler is not a subscriber to the 'bounce factor', where horses returning from a long absence can run well on their reappearance, only to disappoint next time.
He went on: "I thought that was when you come back very quick. This is six weeks, so we're not coming back very quick. We let him down a bit, he didn't do anything the week after, and we've brought him back very gently. I can't see that."
1 September 2015Simon Dow savours Epsom 'fairytale' with El Campeon
Olly Stevens rocked by Extortionist death
Gleneagles given Breeders' Cup Classic aim by Aidan O'Brien
Sore Sumbal swerves St Leger at Doncaster
Dandy Nicholls has Haydock in mind for Sovereign Debt
Beautiful Romance flies Godolphin flag on Ascot Champions Day
Goodwood winner Alamode beguiles Marcus Tregoning
Jane Chapple-Hyam facing Cesarewitch dilemma with Twisler
Sam Waley-Cohen reveals Long Run hunter chase plan
Hannon plots Curragh route with Moyglare-bound Great Page
Barande-Barbe eyes Champion at Leopardstown with Cirrus
Dettori likely for Danzeno Haydock ride
Autumn aims for Meade's Rookie
Turner confirms retirement plan
Mullins hails Fly achievements
Cadran target for Litigant
Park option for Naadirr
Cadeaux leads Cup contenders
Turner calls time on riding career
Pendleton so close to dream success
Whitman lifts Trophy for Johnston
Hobbs stars in Kempton entry
Mullins hails 'legend' Hurricane
Super Fly bows out
Belardo has six appeal - Varian
Time called on Telescope career
Charline chasing Curragh cash
31 August 2015Haydock option for 'Frankel' winner
Hurricane Fly: Best moments
Maguire making good progress
Channon seeks Divine intervention
More injury woe for unlucky Russell
Balios finished for the year
Reason back in firing Line
Newton Abbot washed away
Beloved bounds to Supreme success
Ton-up for De Sousa
Approval for new Yarmouth track
Hint takes Cambridgeshire glory
Bocca back in business
Leger hope Sumbal beaten in France
Tower-ing performance from Williams
O'Brien works his Magic again
All eyes on Pendleton at Ripon
30 August 2015Beloved rules supreme at Goodwood
Arm injury woe for Russell
Beacon shines for O'Brien
Botti banks on Binzart
Harrington ponders Jack reverse
Tullius revved up for Joel Stakes
Speculative in frame for Ayr raid
Moon dazzling for Irish Leger bid
Ivory backs Twin to peak at Donny
Golantilla 'a natural' over fences
Flintshire strikes at Saratoga
Retirement considered for Pharoah
Cummings 'a giant of the sport'
Keen Ice claims Pharoah scalp
Racing lands Winter win
O'Brien family enjoys Wexford wins
Goodwood Celebration for Kodi team
Polybius takes Hopeful honours
Twisler on the march
Rene lands Goodwood riches
Maarek shoots to Bullet victory
Hawk swoops in Prestige
29 August 2015Death of top trainer Bart Cummings
Kodi Celebration for Cox
Deegan hopeful of good Sho
Titania looks to 'step up' in Dance
Gosden youngster impresses at HQ
Ascot date for Dartmouth
Bolger seeking Curragh Smash n grab
Death of northern stalwart Charnock
Ground key for Weld big guns
Panther pleases in Newmarket work
Icon eyeing Prestige prize
Buratino in Middle Park frame
Cox hoping for Kodi Celebration