Imperial a decent tip to finish in top three

WE’VE had the thriller in Manila and the rumble in the jungle. Now it’s the War of the Wolds.

Kauto v Denman III isn’t going to be quite the classic decider we have all wanted since the Tank and AP had that difference of opinion the first time they stepped out together at Newbury. Kauto Star has been odds-on ever since, and punters have an industry-wide £50m pay-day riding with him. Do I expect him to win? Yes. Am I backing him? No.

I’m siding with Imperial Commander (8-1) each-way as the knocking value behind the big two. He’s won a Paddy Power Gold Cup and a Ryanair and he stays three miles for sure, as he was beaten by a gnat’s nose by Kauto Star at Haydock in November. Forget his run behind Kauto at Kempton at Christmas; he hates the place.

Still, something has to come third and in our betting without the front two, we can’t split Imperial Commander and Cooldine at 15-8. Cooldine has course form, too, having won the RSA last year, but I reckon he’ll be ridden handy to the pace, and could be wilting just as Imperial Commander is flourishing.