Cheltenham’s big winners made ante-post favourites

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With the 2011 Cheltenham Festival now over, odds are already available for the big four races next year and it is expected that titles will successfully be defended.

On his first trip to Cheltenham this year, Hurricane Fly displayed the necessary finishing speed to land victory in the Champion Hurdle.

Hurricane Fly is 5/2 in the Champion Hurdle betting to take the honours again, but he is sure to face a fierce challenge.

Peddlers Cross chased him home this year, with the pair pulling clear of the remainder of the field, and is 7/1 to go one better in 2012.

Binocular was a late omission from the race this year after being the ante-post favourite and is 5/1 to regain the crown that he won in 2010.

Al Ferof won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle this year and gets a 12/1 quote, while Triumph Hurdle winner Zarkandar is 10/1.

Sizing Europe upset Master Minded and Big Zeb to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase and is 3/1 to return to defend his title.

Paul Nicholls has indicated that Master Minded may run over a longer distance in the future so is not featured in the Cheltenham betting, while Big Zeb is 8/1, but will be an 11-year-old.

Others to be given a quote are Arkle winner Captain Chris at 6/1 and runner-up in that race Finians Rainbow at 10/1.

Finally, Big Buck’s is 1/1 to return to Cheltenham to win the Ladbrokes’ World Hurdle for the fourth year in succession.

Big Buck’s was meant to face his stiffest challenge this year when taking on Grands Crus, but showed enough resilience clearing the final hurdle to see off the young protagonist.

Bobs Worth may be the nest youngster to threaten Big Buck’s and is 10/1 in the 2012 Ladbrokes World Hurdle betting.

A £20 stake on Binocular winning the 2012 Champion Hurdle would return £100. New customers can sign up here to take advantage of free bets totalling up to £60.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.