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Grands Crus to be sent over fences

Grands Crus will be sent novice chasing next season after coming up short against Big Buck's at both Cheltenham and Aintree.

David Pipe's grey lost nothing in defeat behind Paul Nicholls' superstar but the trainer sees little point in continuing to take on the reigning champion.

"I would imagine he'll be chasing next season," said Pipe. "We haven't schooled him over fences yet, but I imagine he'll go chasing as Big Buck's looks like possibly the best horse Paul Nicholls has ever had and I could see him winning another three World Hurdles.

"We'll aim at the RSA Chase. He seems to have come out of his race well at Aintree and we'll look forward to when we eventually start schooling him. We bought him as a chaser and I see no reason why he won't jump fences, he's very quick over his hurdles," he said.

Meanwhile, Richard Fahey is worried the Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on April 30 may come too soon for Wootton Bassett. The unbeaten colt was taken away for a racecourse gallop over the weekend and took a good blow after it, leaving Fahey to conclude that he may not be fit enough to do himself justice in the first Classic of the season.

The son of Iffraaj missed some ground work earlier in the year and the Malton handler is concerned that is now beginning to show.

"There's nothing wrong, but we just might be running out of time and the race is catching up with us," said Fahey. "We're going to hopefully get him away in the next eight or nine days because he took a good blow the other day.

"He's in the French and Irish Guineas as well. The main thing is he's got to be 100pc. In the next eight or nine days I might be 100pc happy, but he just took a good blow the other day."

Irish Independent