Trainer David Pipe reported today on his website, www.davidpipe.com: “After weeks of speculation, I am pleased to announce that Grands Crus will participate in this year's RSA Chase on the Wednesday of the Cheltenham Festival.”
Speaking on At The Races, Pipe added: “You have to do what is right by the horse and in our opinion the RSA Chase is the right race for Grands Crus at this stage of his career.
“We made the decision based on our thoughts about the horse as an individual. I am sure he could cope with the Gold Cup and hopefully we will be going there next year with him.
“Regarding the trip, you are always going into unknown territory but Tom Scudamore was confident the horse would have got the trip in the Gold Cup.
It’s a decision we’ve made in the best interests of the horse. Grands Crus is in good form and has had a good preparation. We wish the race was today!
“He did unfortunately part company with Tom Scudamore in a piece of work the other day but the horse was fine afterwards and Tom schooled him yesterday and they went well. You never want these things to happen, but they do happen and fortunately the horse is fine.”
Grands Crus was second to Big Buck’s in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at The Festival in 2011 and has won all three of his starts over fences this season in great style, most recently taking the Grade One williamhill.com Feltham Novices’ Chase over three miles at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.
Prior to being confirmed as a runner in the RSA Chase, Grands Crus had also been a possible starter in Friday’s Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.