Grands Crus showed that he has the capabilities of threatening Big Buck’s quest for a third successive Ladbrokes World Hurdle victory with a sparkling performance at Cheltenham.
David Pipe’s grey has proved a massive market mover in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle betting market following his ten-length demolition of a useful field in the Cleeve Hurdle.
Grands Crus is now just 3/1 in the Cheltenham Festival odds, although Big Buck’s remains the heavy 4/6 favourite to retain his unbeaten record over hurdles and win for the 11th time.
After a restrained start in the Grade Two contest, Tom Scudamore gradually began to pick off his rivals and when sent to take over at the front with two flights remaining, he just breezed clear.
And with a strong cruising speed, no trouble with the three-mile trip and seemingly capable of performing on all types of ground, there is every reason to expect him to run Big Buck’s close.
Trainer Pipe is one person optimistic of his chances as he said: “I wouldn’t swap our fellow for anything else – even Big Buck’s.”
Meanwhile, punters would be wise not to rule out Mourad for Ladbrokes World Hurdle glory following his recent routine victory in Ireland at Gowran Park.
Mourad is the third favourite in the betting at 10/1 and has still only finished outside of the first three places once in nine hurdles races.
One thing that is certain is that all of a sudden the Ladbrokes World Hurdle is no longer a one-horse race and although still a clear favourite, Big Buck’s cannot be seen as the Cheltenham banker that he perhaps was two weeks ago.
A £25 stake on Mourad winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle would return £250. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.