Dynaste all set for Wetherby return
Dynaste will make his seasonal return in the bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby on Saturday.
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David Pipe's seven-year-old was a leading staying hurdler a couple of seasons ago and shone as a novice chaser last term, winning four of his five starts over fences.
The Charlie Hall Chase was discussed a potential option for the exciting grey, but Pipe has decided to revert to the smaller obstacles for his first start of the campaign, in the race registered as the West Yorkshire Hurdle.
Speaking on his website www.davidpipe.com, the trainer said: "Dynaste is an intended runner at Wetherby on Saturday.
"He will likely make his seasonal debut over hurdles in the West Yorkshire Hurdle. It looks an ideal sort of race for him to kick off the new season and I would imagine that Tom Scudamore will be itching to get back on him."
Pipe's other top-class grey, Grands Crus, has something to prove after failing to show his best form in three starts last season.
Connections decided against a trip to Wetherby for him this weekend and he will instead run over hurdles at Kempton on Monday.
"Grands Crus will not run on Saturday, but instead probably wait for the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Qualifier at Kempton next Monday," said Pipe.
"He is in good order at home and I am looking forward to seeing him back on the racecourse."
Dynaste is among nine confirmations for the bet365 Hurdle. Last year's winner Tidal Bay is set to defend his crown, having been sidelined by injury since winning a thrilling renewal of the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown last Christmas.
Donald McCain said Across The Bay, who was last seen finishing 14th in the John Smith's Grand National, is a likely runner.
"Across The Bay needs to work later this week, but the bet365 Hurdle looks the obvious place to start him this season. It looks like it is going to be a hot r,ace, but his first big target is the Becher Chase in December and I want to get a run into him before then. We will also be looking at the Grand National again" he revealed.
The Rebecca Curtis-trained At Fishers Cross could make his seasonal reappearance having won the major staying novice hurdles at Cheltenham and Aintree in the spring.
Alan King has entered Coral Cup winner Medinas while Trustan Times is an interesting contender for Tim Easterby.
Captain Sunshine, Master Of The Sea and The Knoxs, know with Sue Smith, complete the entries.
The sponsor's spokesman Pat Cooney said: "The betting public have really latched on to At Fishers Cross. He was our worst result at the last Cheltenham Festival, and we expect him to be a well backed favourite again on Saturday.
"He faces a talent-packed field though and the likes of Dynaste and Tidal Bay in particular will provide a stern test for him, and if At Fishers Cross does win, I'd expect him to overtake Big Buck's as the World Hurdle at Cheltenham market leader."