Big Bucks heads the betting market for the Grade One
Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham on Thursday, March 17.
Those ready to place some
cheltenham free bets note that there are a total of 46 entries held
for the £260,000 contest but the Paul Nicholls-trained 8-year-old has opened
as best price 4/7 favourite and with good reason.
Since being switched from big obstacles having unseated Sam Thomas in
Hennessey old Cup in November 2008 the horse has remained unbeaten, winning
ten races in a row. This superb winning record contains five Grade 1
victories and also includes winning the World Hurdle in 2009 and 2010.
The most recent success was an impressive performance in the re-arranged
Long Walk at Newbury in December and even then the chances of Big Bucks
claiming a record breaking third successive victory in the World Hurdle was
being talked up.
However, despite the impressive argument that can be made for Big Bucks at
this early stage it seems that many shrewd ante-post backers are looking
elsewhere for value. Chief amongst the potential challengers for the title
are a number of well respected Nick Henderson runners, including the 2009
runner-up Punchestowns and 2009 JCB Triumph Hurdle winner, Zaynar.
Others of note include the David Pipe-trained Grand Crus and the Alan
King-trained pair of Karabak and Bensalem.
The Irish raiders come from Willie Mullins who has five entries Quevega and
So although the bookmakers have put their lot in with Big Bucks this superb
race looks like it will remain a fascinating prospect over the next couple
of months and we anticipate the Cheltenham Festival with relish.
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