|Photo of Grand Crus at Cheltenham Open by @emmykgts|
Last weekend gave us top class jumping action on both sides of the Irish Sea, leaving us with our own particular eye catchers that we hope are destined for Festival glory. Yes it’s true that Cheltenham dominates the whole of the National Hunt season, but what’s so wrong with that?! (here, here – JP)
One of the standout performances of the Open meeting was Grands Crus’ victory on Friday in the Novice Chase. A mistake at the ditch 4 out failed to stop his momentum and the way he travelled round the home turn towards the second last was reminiscent of the way he travelled the same path to victory in the Cleeve Hurdle in January.
In recent years the 2m4f Novice Chase has become key in the education of future stars. The 2010 renewal was won by Time For Rupert with subsequent Dipper Chase winner Hells Bay in second. Outside of the first three places came the high class handicappers; Reve De Sivola, Divers, and Quantativeeasing. In 2009 the race was taken by Weird Al, who recently won this season’s Charlie Hall Chase with Time For Rupert in second. The 2007 winner was Imperial Commander who went on to take the 2008 Paddy Power, the 2009 Ryanair and the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup. 2006 saw a victory for the mighty Denman who afterwards was responsible for two Hennessey’s (2007 and 2009) the 2007 RSA Chase, the 2007 Lexus, the 2008 Aon and the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Second to Denman in 2006 was the 2010 Grand National hero Don’t Push It.
It seems likely that Grands Crus is destined for the very top, there was no surprise hat his odds for the 2012 RSA have tumbled from 8/1 to a general 4/1 (6/1 available with Ladbrokes). Runner up Champion Court will also surely take more prizes. (JP has tipped Champion Court for the RSA Chase) . It was a shame Cue Card didn’t complete the race but he must not be written off, there is a big day for him.