Peddlers rides clear to see Champion Hurdle odds trimmed

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Kelso became the sixth racecourse that Peddlers Cross has conquered when the six-year-old romped home by 11 lengths in the Morebattle Hurdle yesterday.

Sent off as the extremely short 1/6 favourtie, Peddlers Cross duly obliged and has now seen his Champion Hurdle odds for the Cheltenham Festival cut to 5/1 from 11/2.

It leaves the top of the Champion Hurdle betting market looking extremely tight with favourite Binocular available at 7/2, Menorah at 4/1 and Hurricane Fly priced at 9/2.

But after Peddlers Cross continued on his unbeaten run to make it seven wins from seven starts over hurdles, the Donald McCain trained six-year-old is a serious contender in the Champion Hurdle betting.

23 of the last 27 winners won their race before heading to the Cheltenham Festival, and while the three ahead of Peddlers Cross in the Champion Hurdle betting have all done the same, Peddlers Cross is the only horse that enters the race unbeaten.

Having won in the Neptune Novices Hurdle at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival, Peddlers Cross knows his way around the toughest racecourse in National hunt racing, and after beating Champion Hurdle favourite Binocular in the Fighting Fifth back in November, the form is strong.

The 2011 Champion Hurdle promises to be the most exciting race of the Cheltenham Festival, but while the top four in the market currently hold all the market confidence, Walkon, who runs in the Totesport Trophy today, can upset a few punters.

Currently 33/1 to win the Champion Hurdle, Walkon will see those odds slashed should he justify his 5/1 favouritism in the Totesport Trophy in the 1.50pm at Newbury.

18 of the previous 20 Champion Hurdle winners have come from the first six in the betting so Walkon will need to produce a strong performance to overtake Mille Chief (10/1) and Oscar Whisky (12/1) in the betting.

A £25 stake on Peddlers Cross winning the Champion Hurdle would return £150. 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.