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Cheltenham

  • 16:05 Steel Plate And Sections Novices' Chase2m 4f 110y

  • £17,000 added 4yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner £10,635 2nd £3,142 3rd £1,571 4th £785
  • Going: Good; Cross Country Firm-Good to Firm in plcs.
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 1.10s
  • Off time: 16:07:56

Grands Crus shows Steel

Cue Card unseats to make task easier for World Hurdle second

Last Updated: 11/11/11 4:46pm

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Grands Crus: Cheltenham winner

Grands Crus: Cheltenham winner

Grands Crus won on his fencing debut at Cheltenham in the Steel Plate And Sections Novices' Chase as Cue Card unseated Joe Tizzard.

David Pipe's World Hurdle runner-up was sent off the 6-4 favourite and his task was made much easier when his main market rival unseated his jockey at the open ditch.

The winner made one mistake when reaching for a fence towards the turn for home but his jumping was sound in the main and the layers were impressed.

Sky Bet make him 4-1 favourite for the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with Stan James and Coral a top-price 5-1.

Cue Card was pushed out to 14-1 for the Arkle with Sky Bet.

Relief

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.''

Impressive

Scudamore added: "He was very impressive and really settled well once I got him in behind. I was always comfortable.

"That was good ground but it was the quickest he's ever raced on.

"He's grown up into a whole man now as last year he was just so keen.

"He's still keen but has become a man. 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 still continues and we want to be back here in March.

"He'll be scaring away plenty of novices, that's for sure."

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