Crus & Dynaste to be entered in World Hurdle
David Pipe, trainer of Grand Crus & Dynaste
(Healy Racing Photos)
The talented greys were both beaten by Big Buck's in previous renewals, the former getting closest when runner-up in the 2011 contest.
And with Paul Nicholls' stable star out for the campaign, Pipe is leaving the World Hurdle door open for both horses when the entries are released on Thursday.
Dynaste, eighth in last year's race, has made a perfect start over fences with victories at Cheltenham, Kempton and Newbury this campaign propelling him to favouritism for the RSA Chase.
Grands Crus, meanwhile, made a similar impact as a novice chaser but his form took a dip when he was well beaten in the RSA Chase before being pulled up in the Paddy Power Gold Cup when sent off favourite on his seasonal reappearance.
He bounced back on his latest start, however, when third in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on his first outing since a wind operation.
"Both Dynaste and Grands Crus will get World Hurdle entries," Pipe told sportinglife.com.
"The entries are to keep all options open for both horses and final decisions will be made much nearer the Festival.
"Grands Crus is doing well, his run in the King George was fantastic and better than we could have expected. He'll have a run before the Festival, either in the Argento at Cheltenham, the Denman at Newbury or the two-mile-five race [Betfair Ascot Chase] at Ascot.
"Dynaste is in good form and he'll head to Newbury for a novice chase next month."
Sky Bet go 9/1 about Grands Crus for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle with Dynaste their 2/1 favourite for the RSA Chase.
Several other interesting names can also be expected to turn up among the World Hurdle entries, with Nicky Henderson telling the Racing Post that he intends to enter no less than eight horses for the contest.
"It's a funny race because if you look at the top end of it quite a lot of those are probably unlikely runners," he said. "Quevega is unlikely, we might try the Cleeve Hurdle for Oscar Whisky, but the top of the betting could fall apart, so you need to have all options covered."
Jessica Harrington has confirmed her Supreme Novices' Hurdle favourite Jezki is set to head straight to the Cheltenham Festival in March without another run.