Grands Crus - Cheltenham 11.11.2011

Grands Crus: will contest RSA Chase on Wednesday at Cheltenham

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Grands Crus goes for RSA Chase not Gold Cup

GRANDS CRUS will miss the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday and will tackle the RSA Chase two days earlier instead.

Trainer David Pipe made the decision following consultation with the exciting chaser's owners on Monday after weeks of weighing up his options.

The seven-year-old, who had been as big as 6-1 for the Gold Cup, was trimmed for RSA glory into a best-priced 7-4 [from 2-1] by William Hill following the announcement.

"It's always a difficult decision but it's the right one for the horse," said Pipe.

Runner-up in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham last year, Grands Crus is unbeaten in three racesover fences this season and has been hot favourite for the RSA  since landing the Feltham Novices' Chase at Kempton in December.

But the grey has created such a big impression as a chaser that he was also given an entry for the Gold Cup and had come under serious consideration for a crack at Long Run and Kauto Star but will now stick to novice company at the festival.

Pipe added: "Is he the best horse in the RSA? Yes. Is he the best horse in the Gold Cup? Possibly.

"Will he get the trip in the RSA? Yes. Will he get the trip in the
Gold Cup? You don't know.

"We have got to think about his future so he goes for the RSA. I hope the ground is going to be on the softer side."

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