Grands Crus remains on course for festival


Grands Crus still has the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and Ryanair Chase as his possible Cheltenham Festival targets as the grey recovers from an ulcer problem.

Third in the King George VI Chase after having a breathing operation, the eight-year-old ran poorly once again when pulled up in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham last month.

Trainer David Pipe said: “He was given an easy time of things after his race while we tried to get to the bottom of his lacklustre effort and he is now being treated for gastric ulcers.

“He is back on the gallops and looks well in himself so I will need to speak with his owners and decide the plan of action. Tomorrow (Tuesday) there is a forfeit stage for the Gold Cup, Ryanair Chase and World Hurdle and I can inform you that he will be scratched from the Gold Cup but will be left in both the Ryanair Chase and World Hurdle.” Pipe’s horses ran well all weekend and he confirmed Swing Bowler could be given the option of the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle after her fine effort behind My Tent Or Yours in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.

His two Exeter winners, Vieux Lion Rouge and The Liquidator, are in contention for the Champion Bumper, while Broadway Buffalo remains unbeaten after his hurdling debut at Newcastle.

Pipe said of Broadway Buffalo: “His jumping improved as the race went on and by the time they reached the long Newcastle straight he was pinging his hurdles.

“With the right horses coming to the forefront, the way in which he comfortably drew 17 lengths clear of his rivals bodes well for the future. He is entered in the Neptune Investment Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett at next month’s Cheltenham Festival.”

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