Grands Crus will not run in Saturday’s Argento Chase at Cheltenham after connections decided to bypass the Grade Two contest.
The seven-year-old grey was an easy winner of the Feltham Chase at Kempton on his latest start, and trainer David Pipe had been considering a step up to full company this weekend.
However, Grands Crus will now not line up in the Cheltenham contest, for which he was the ante-post favourite.
Pipe told Press Association Sport: “He does not run on Saturday.
“We’ve decided we don’t want to give him a hard race with Cheltenham just around the corner in March.”
Grands Crus was second to Big Buck’s at both Cheltenham and Aintree last season and had been impressive over fences this campaign.
A 10-length winner on his debut at Cheltenham, he then claimed a Newbury Grade Two before going on to success at Kempton.
Pipe is now considering a Festival prep run at Newbury on February 11, although he will not be taking on Long Run in the Betfair Denman Chase.
He said: “He could run at Newbury on February 11, Betfair Trophy day, in a three-mile novice chase, not in the Denman.
“The horse is absolutely fine, though, we just decided not to run.”
He later added on his website, www.davidpipe.com: “A decision on which race he will take in at the Cheltenham Festival is still to be decided and will not be made until much nearer the time.”