Steel Plate And Sections Novices' Chase  

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Grand Crus Impressive Over Fences

1 Grands Crus 13/8F
2 Champion Court 13/2
3 Zaynar 12/1
7 ran Distances: 10l, 3¾l, 6l
TIME 5m 1.90s (slow by 1.90s)

David Pipe secured a Cheltenham treble when crack staying hurdler Grands Crus made a winning debut over fences in the Steel Plate And Sections Novices' Chase.

Grands Crus
© Racehorse Photos

Grands Crus

Main rival Cue Card was still going well for Joe Tizzard when he unseated his rider at the ditch, which robbed the race of some of its lustre, and Grands Crus (6-4 favourite) pulled himself to the front after that.

Although he hit the open ditch at the top of the hill quite hard, Tom Scudamore's mount was soon back on the bridle and after seeing off runner-up Champion Court, he was given a breather turning into the straight before quickening clear again to win by 10 lengths.

Pipe said: "It was a relief to get the first one out the way. It was disappointing for racegoers with Cue Card exiting, but it was not all about winning - it was about getting some experience under our belt.

"The race wasn't run to suit, but he did everything that was asked of him. If he's nearly as good over fences as he was over hurdles, we're in for a lot of fun.

"Tom has given him a great school-round ride, which is what we wanted. He will probably have another two or three runs (before the Cheltenham Festival), but we'll see."

Scudamore added: "He was very impressive and really settled well once I got him in behind. I was always comfortable. He's grown up into a whole man now as last year he was just so keen. Those battles with Big Buck's have made him battle-hardened.

"He jumped super. I know he made a mistake at the ditch, but any novice can do that. Other than that he was foot-perfect, especially at the second- and third-last as they are tricky fences. He jumped the last better than any other and it was a great thrill.

"I'll leave it up to David to choose his next race, but he's got course experience now. Wherever he goes I'll go, that's for sure. He's shown speed over two and half and stays three miles well. The dream continues and we want to be back here in March. He'll be scaring away plenty of novices, that's for sure."


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Grands Crus
D Pipe
T Scudamore
11st 2lbs
6 - 4
Champion Court
M Keighley
P J Brennan
11st 7lbs
13 - 2
10 lengths
Nick Williams
A P McCoy
11st 2lbs
12 - 1
3 3/4 lengths
N A Twiston-Davies
S Twiston-Davies
11st 2lbs
25 - 1
6 lengths
Vino Griego
G L Moore
J E Moore
11st 2lbs
33 - 1
57 lengths
Cue Card
C L Tizzard
J Tizzard
11st 7lbs
7 - 4
Dualla Lord
P F Nicholls
D A Jacob
11st 2lbs
16 - 1


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