Racing: Pipe keeps a close guard on Cyfor plan

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The Independent Online
CYFOR MALTA, unraced since winning the Murphy's Gold Cup in November, is to return at Cheltenham on Saturday. The Martin Pipe-trained gelding, who has the Gold Cup or Champion Chase as possible Festival targets, has a choice on Saturday between the Pillar Chase or Ladbroke Handicap Chase.

"As usual I'm going to sit on the fence until Friday before I decide which race he will go for," Pipe said yesterday. Cyfor Malta has missed a clutch of big races since "a slight set-back" following his Murphy's win.

Deano's Beeno is now 7-2 favourite for the Stayers' Hurdle at the Festival following his impressive victory in Saturday's Long-Distance Hurdle at Haydock. "I was pleased with him at Haydock," Pipe said, "and the likelihood is that he will go straight for the Stayers'."

Of Wahiba Sands, runner-up to Master Beveled, in the Champion Hurdle Trial, Pipe said: "He'll probably go the Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury next month or could go straight to the Champion."

Pipe's Blowing Wind, who took a tumble in the same race, has "got a few cuts and grazes but seems all right in himself," Pipe added. "We'll have to wait and see how he is before thinking about where he goes next."