Despite the impressiveness of Grands Crus’ victory at Cheltenham last month, champion jockey Tony McCoy still believes that Big Buck’s is the horse to beat in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
Grands Crus destroyed a strong field in the Cleeve Hurdle, the recognised trial for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, at the end of last month, which saw him dramatically shorten in the Cheltenham Festival betting.
David Pipe’s horse is now 9/4 to win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and the fact that he did not come off the bridle when winning the Cleeve Hurdle has led to numerous suggestions that he will run Big Buck’s close at Cheltenham.
Big Buck’s is still the 4/5 in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle betting as he goes in search of a third straight victory in the race.
And McCoy, who has ridden Big Buck’s twice this season to cover for the injured Ruby Walsh, has revealed that he has not been totally convinced by Grands Crus as yet, because the grey has yet to be fully tested and show how much he has in reserve.
McCoy said: “To me, if you look at the best stayers, they always race behind the bridle. Horses like (dual winner) Baracouda and (three-time winner) Inglis Drever never travelled through their races the way Grands Crus did in the Cleeve Hurdle.
“I could be wrong, but he’d have to be some horse to have enough in reserve to beat Big Buck’s.”
Another thing in the favour of Big Buck’s is that he is yet to taste defeat in all of his ten previous starts over hurdles, while Grands Crus has previously lost at Taunton, although admittedly he was giving away stacks of weight to the useful Sanctuaire.
A £25 stake on Mourad winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle would return £250. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.