Race fans will have to wait a few more weeks to discover if the grey will be up against the heavy-weights in March.
Pipe said today that the ability of his top novice chaser to jump fences at Gold Cup standard is "probably the only issue" that needs to be resolved before a decision is made on whether Grands Crus will race in the Gold Cup or the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival next month.
However, that all-important decision could be left until five days before the RSA Chase on 14 March, as Pipe and the owners will weigh-up the opposition in the two races.
Pipe's guide on Grands Crus:
- We would have liked to go to Newbury with him, that was the plan, but unfortunately that was the only race they didn't put on.
- He's got enough experience: he's had three runs as I wanted to get some runs into him early because you never know what will happen with the weather.
- He's made one mistake in those three runs.
- He's jumped very well, he's jumped around Cheltenham, and Newbury and Kempton, flat tracks, galloping tracks, and he's obviously a very exciting horse.
- I think it probably shows you how good he is that he finished so close to Big Buck's in the World Hurdle last year. I thought it was a fantastic race, Tom Scudamore gave him a cracking ride and we nearly pulled it off but Big Buck's had something to say.
I think Pipe should think seriously about entering Grands Crus in the Gold Cup - if he did it would be an even more exciting race to watch. To put another top-class horse in the race would add greater thrill to the mix. The chaser would be in for a high chance too.