Welsh Grand National winner Elegant Escape is to head straight to the Cheltenham Gold Cup his trainer Colin Tizzard has confirmed.
The seven-year-old picked up one of the biggest wins of the season at Chepstow over the festive period and now looks set to join a three pronged attack on the big race at Cheltenham for the Dorset handler.
The horse is enjoying a stellar season with his win in the Welsh National proceeded by a second place finish in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and he now looks set for a crack at the most important race in the sport according to connections.
Tizzard already has the defending champion Native River in his squad for the Festival and he will be joined by King George 2nd Thistlecrack and Elegant Escape, according to these latest reports.
The son of Dubai Destination is currently a 33/1 shot for the Festival feature in the wake of his big race success but Tizzard is clearly happy to try the horse at the very highest level once again.
"Elegant Escape is now rated 159 and is only about 7lb away from being a Gold Cup horse. He might make a Grand National horse as well, because he is a tough stayer"
The decision to send the horse straight to the race is an interesting one after two tough races on the spin and there is no doubt that Elegant Escape has the stamina to at least put in a reasonable display. A 3rd place finish in the RSA Chase last season indicates he will need to improve again but there is no doubt that Chepstow hero will add some high quality strength and depth to the Gold Cup.