Twiston-Davies hoping for some surprise winners at Cheltenham
9:00am Thursday 28th February 2013 in Sport
NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES feels his team is coming in under the radar as we approach the Cheltenham Festival which begins on Tuesday week.
“I am feeling really quite happy – nobody is expecting an awful lot,” said the Naunton-based trainer.
“When you are not expected, it is more fun the better you do rather than a kick in the nuts when you get beat.”
Chief among his team is the 2010 Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander.
“We have the Commander back and some very, very nice novices so it is looking good,” he said.
“We do not have the firepower (that some stables have) or the money to go out and buy expensive horses, so it is nice when my cheapies come and do the job. It is hard work but more satisfying.
“I am very pleased with how the season has gone – I didn’t think we would have a good season at all. I did not think we had enough good horses but they have excelled themselves.”
Twiston-Davies then talked about his four best hopes for the Festival.
(Betfred Gold Cup).
“I’m very pleased with him and it’s all going smoothly.
“His comeback run was astonishingly good. If you had offered that second to me before the race I would’ve been delighted. He had such a bad run up to it having fractured a splint bone. He’d been swimming a lot but there’s no substitute for cantering and he’d only had four weeks of that beforehand and as anyone would tell you that’s not really enough.
“So he wasn’t fit that day and he should come on plenty for the run. Everyone talks about age (Imperial Commander is 12) but he doesn’t seem any different to three years ago. He’s in great nick and has had the perfect preparation since his run.
The New One.
(Neptune Novices' Hurdle).
“He’s obviously got a huge burst of speed and, in hindsight, we probably did use it too soon last time.
“Tactics-wise, he’ll probably sit there and take it up at the last. There’s no point in waiting and waiting and making a mistake at the final flight. He’s the shortest price of all mine at the Festival and the bookmakers are cleverer than most of us, so he probably is my best chance.
(Albert Bartlett Hurdle).
“This fellow has been quite superb this season and I think the extra distance and better ground will improve him a lot.
“I’m hoping in years to come he’ll be an Imperial Commander type, a great big, strong horse. He’s in the handicaps still, but I think we’ll be going for the Albert Bartlett.
Master Of The Seas.
“He’s been an absolute revelation and we still haven’t got to the bottom of him.
“I’d be very excited about his chance in the Coral Cup.
He’ll need to improve to win it, but I believe the potential for improvement is still there.”