David Pipe’s grey, a gallant second to Big Buck’s in the 2011 Ladbrokes World Hurdle, appeared to make a smooth transition to fences when winning the Grade One Feltham Novices Chase under Tom Scudamore.
That win – on Boxing Day, 2011 – was the horse’s last triumph before a series of setbacks in Cheltenham’s RSA Chase and Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Grand Crus, now eight, subsequently underwent treatment for ulcers.
The Charlie Hall, Wetherby’s most valuable race of the year, is already a possibility for former Gold Cup winner Long Run and Sue Smith’s Grand National hero Auroras Encore, though no plans have been finalised.
“Hopefully, he’ll be back to his best this year and we’ll probably give him a racecourse gallop somewhere to get him ready for a run,” said Pipe. “He could start off on November 2 at Wetherby, either in the Charlie Hall Chase or the staying hurdle.”
Pipe is looking to give smart performer Tanerko Emery a first run of the campaign in the valuable two-mile handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on November 17 before a chasing career.