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Crus on Target for Betfair Chase Return


11/09/12 - Grand Crus, currently a top priced 20/1 shot in the ante-post list for next March's Cheltenham Gold Cup, could make his seasonal return to the fray at Haydock on November 24 in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, writes Elliot Slater.

The galloping grey was one of 19 initial entries for the top quality three-mile contest won in sensational fashion 12 months ago by the now retired superstar, Kauto Star.

With the old horse no longer going into battle, the way is clear for a new pretender to the crown, and the Betfair chase odds believe that the David Pipe-trained Grand Crus has what it takes to go very close at Haydock and at Cheltenham four months later.

Pipe's charge proved himself a very smart hurdler during the 2010/11 season, progressing fast from novice hurdles at the start of the campaign to winning a listed handicap hurdle in facile manner at Haydock. He then showed that he could be a true test for the great Big Buck's in winning Cheltenham's Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle.

At the Festival meeting, the son of Dom Alco ran a tremendous race, serving it up to the multiple champion before going under with all guns blazing by less than two lengths.

Last term, Grand Crus proved himself a talented novice chaser, winning his first three outings culminating in a defeat of Silviniaco Conti in the Grade 1 Feltham Novices Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

His only other outing, (and his first defeat over fences, an event that still draws the crowds on the Betfair YouTube channel), came when a beaten favourite and only fourth to Bob's Worth in the Grade 1 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Reported to have strengthened up for his summer break, Pipe's solid galloper will surely be amongst the market principals at Haydock and may well enhance his credentials for the Gold Cup later on in the season.

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