RSA Chase, Cheltenham Festival Wed
David Pipe has said that he will not make a decision regarding what race classy novice Grands Crus will run at the Cheltenham Festival until Monday but the feeling is growing that he is siding with the RSA Chase rather than going for the Gold Cup, as this classy horse heads many pundits Cheltenham tips for the race on Wednesday.
Nothing official will be released by Pipe until then but that hasn’t stopped the markets reacting accordingly; Grands Crus is now best priced 7/4 from 9/4.
On form lines he looks a sure fire good thing. Thus far since finishing behind Big Buck’s in last World Hurdle he has been scintillating over fences. The standout being his victory in the Grade 1 Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton over Christmas; the time the novice recorded was nearly six seconds quicker than what Kauto Star managed in the King George run over the same course and distance.
This triggered rumours of a Gold Cup bid but Pipe sees this classy type as a long term project and looks to sticking to the novice route where he will be hard to beat.
To land the gut-busting Grade One, run over three miles, he will have to be at his best as this year’s staying novices are a talented bunch.
Bobs Worth, winner of last year’s Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the Festival, is seen by many punters as the main threat to Grands Crus and his price of 10/3 certainly shows that.
He has yet to find his best form this season but relishes the surroundings at Prestbury Park and will relish every yard of this gruelling race.
The Irish have two well supported runners lining up in the shape of Sir Des Champs (9/2) and First Lieutenant (5/1) while Paul Nicholls has been talking up Join Together as the next possible star of his yard.
His price is steadily being backed around the 13/2 mark and should get shorter as the race approaches.
The race takes place on Cheltenham Wednesday.