It’s a race that is the most significant guide for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and because of the Cleeve Hurdle, we finally have a betting proposition on our hands.
Since being upped to a three-mile contest in 2005, the Cleeve Hurdle has produced four of the last six winners of the World Hurdle and in Grands Crus (9/4 to win), we certainly have a contender.
The emergence of Grands Crus has finally provided Big Buck’s with a rival capable of upsetting the two-time World Hurdle winner, but while all the momentum may be with Grands Crus, the class of Big Buck’s can lead the champion to a third victory.
Trading at odds-on for most of the year, Big Buck’s is now 11/10 to win and offers all the value in the race.
But while Big Buck’s and Grands Crus dominate the market, it definitely cannot be called a two-horse race an the Irish are hoping their challenger Mourad can upset the two market leaders.
Fourth behind Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly in December, Mourad is an interesting proposition at 9/1 and a third place in the 2009 Triumph Hurdle makes him a very interesting each-way proposition.
Of the three races Mourad has failed to win in his seven runs since the start of 2010, two of the winners have won at the Cheltenham Festival this week and the other winner won the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The form is strong for the Irish challenger but Big Buck’s is the champion and will prove tough to beat.
One further interesting contender is Cross Kennon who at 50/1 to win could be a ridiculously huge each-way price considering the horse has placed at the Festival before, won around Cheltenham in November and was looking well-placed before being brought down around Cheltenham in December.
A £20 stake Big Buck’s winning the World Hurdle would return £42. New customers can sign up here to get £60 in free bets.