14:40 Cheltenham – Bobs Worth to make Crus decision an anti climax
Grands Crus is the obvious talk of the RSA Chase after foregoing the Cheltenham Gold Cup to remain with his fellow novices, but this decision does not guarantee him Festival success.
In fact, he may be forced into playing second fiddle to Bobs Worth, who looks the far better betting proposition at 10/3 in the Cheltenham odds.
Grands Crus is the 5/4 favourite to win the RSA Chase and has been almost flawless to date since switching from hurdles to the chase game.
He is three from three in terms of victories and has hardly put a foot wrong in terms of his jumping.
However, there are doubts as to whether he may be lacking in a bit of stamina, despite trainer David Pipe stating that he will see out the trip.
Bobs Worth has no such issues and has the battling qualities needed which can prove vital up the Cheltenham hill at the end of a quick 3m.
Grands Crus triumphed earlier in the season when the pair clashed in the Feltham Chase, but none of the 17 horses to have ever attempted to win both races have been successful.
However, five horses to have placed in the Feltham tend to fare better at Cheltenham, as Kempton’s flatter nature seems to better suit speed horses.
The ground is vitally important for both First Lieutenant and Join Together, with the former requiring firm conditions and a strong pace, while the latter’s proven stamina and slogging nature should mean the wetter the better form him.
Therefore, First Lieutenant looks the better each-way bet at present at 9/2 with the rain having stayed away in recent days, while Join Together can be backed at 5/1.
First Lieutenant has failed to live up to his hurdles heights over fences to date, but certainly has the class to triumph on a going day.