Grand effort required for unbeaten star to win Cleeve Hurdle

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It’s the leading trial for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and the Cleeve Hurdle will feature 19 runners looking to enhance their Cheltenham Festival credentials.

Big Bucks may dominate the World Hurdle betting at 4/7 to win, but punters can take one last look at Big Buck’s World Hurdle rivals on Saturday and can potentially find a horse capable of upsetting the Paul Nicholls-trained star.

New customers to Ladbrokes.com can sign up here and receive a free Cheltenham bet worth £25 which can be used to maximise returns on Saturday’s Cleeve Hurdle.

The David Pipe-trained Grands Crus is unbeaten this season, including a win at Cheltenham back in November, and heads the market at 2/1.

Bensalem is yet to reappear this season following his second place behind Quevega at last Spring’s Punchestown Festival, but is second favourite in the Cleeve Hurdle betting at 7/2.

A win for the Alan King-trained eight-year-old on Saturday would seriously enhance his World Hurdle credentials and Bensalem is currently 20/1 to win the World Hurdle.

Viking Blond is one to watch on Saturday and is a huge price at 50/1 to win considering he has two places at Cheltenham from his last three starts.

Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, Viking Blond was badly hampered in his last race at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and his 13th place finish should be ignored in the form book.

His previous two runs saw him finish second and third (ahead of Welsh National winner Synchronised) at Cheltenham and punters should take the 50/1 before it disappears on Saturday.

Restless Harry finished third behind Big Bucks at Newbury in December and is a contender at 10/1 to win on Saturday, and is 33/1 in the World Hurdle betting.

Saturday’s trial will have a big impact on the World Hurdle odds and punters should start exploring the ante post Cheltenham betting.

A £25 stake on Grands Crus winning the World Hurdle would return £275. New customers can sign up here for a free bet worth £25.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.