Author: Graham Tower
Published: 09:55 11/11/2012
David Pipe admitted bookmakers’ opinion helped sway his decision to allow Grands Crus to take his chance in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The bold-jumping grey was entered in the Betfair Chase at Haydock a week later and Pipe had considered the three-mile handicap to be the obvious option to begin the seven year-old’s latest campaign. The bookies believed otherwise, with Grands Crus top price at 11/4 with Coral to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup compared to odds of around 6/1 third favourite for the Betfair Chase.
Speaking at Wincanton, Pipe said: "In theory a handicap is a better starting point than a level weights one and he'll be better over two and a half miles first time back as he'll be fresh and keen.
"He looks to have a favourite's chance while if he'd gone for the other race (Betfair Chase) he'd have been third or fourth in the betting. I'm taking the view that the bookies rarely get it wrong."
Grands Crus looked a champion in the making during is hurdling career when twice finishing second to the invincible Big Buck’s at Cheltenham and Aintree. He then went on to a stylish victory in the Feltham Novices Chase at Kempton last Christmas but only finished fourth when favourite for the RSA Chase at Cheltenham Festival in March.
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