sport

Pipe unsure on Grands Crus

Grands Crus remains an uncertain runner at the Cheltenham Festival with David Pipe admitting he is "just taking things day by day".

Two years ago Grands Crus looked a mighty prospect when finishing just under two lengths away from Big Buck's in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle but there have been more than a fair share of let-downs ever since.

While he made a bright start over fences last season, he was a well-beaten fourth behind Bobs Worth in the RSA and there have been two further setbacks at Cheltenham this season when he was pulled up in both the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Argento Chase.

"I don't know if he runs," said Pipe as he showed the eight-year-old off at his stables in a foggy Nicholashayne, Somerset, on Tuesday.

"He has the two entries at Cheltenham, the World Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase. He is on treatment for ulcers, but he cantered this morning and is just having an easy time.

"It has been a frustrating season. He was disappointing in the Paddy Power, then we cauterised his palate and he ran a cracking race in the King George.

"He had a hard race that day, and perhaps (in the Argento) it was a combination of factors, the ground, the ulcers, and our blood man thought he might be in the early stages of coming down with something. All I can tell you is he's the same horse on the gallops."

Looking at the next three weeks before the meeting starts, Pipe said: "He will probably go for a racecourse gallop somewhere and that will be what makes our decision.

"He might not run again this season, he might go to Cheltenham, he might go to Aintree, he might go to Punchestown. We're doing everything we can to get him back on track."