Solwhit to tackle three miles and Big Buck’s at Cheltenham

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Punters searching for Solwhit in the ante post Cheltenham Festival betting should forget the Champion Hurdle betting market and scour the World Hurdle odds.

Solwhit’s trainer Charles Byrnes has confirmed that his star seven-year-old will attempt the three mile trip for the first time in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and Solwhit joins the World Hurdle betting at 14/1.

“We’re going into the unknown trying three miles,” said Byrnes. “We have decided to aim him at the World Hurdle and, as long as everything goes well between now and then, he will run.”

Big Buck’s is currently the 4/5 ante post favourite in the World Hurdle betting and is many people’s Cheltenham Festival banker having won the race on the previous two occasions.

But after a truly impressive performance from Grands Crus at Cheltenham in January, a lot of the market confidence has shifted from Big Bucks to the David Pipe-trained six-year-old and Grands Crus is available at 9/4 to win.

While the Champion Hurdle is arguably the most eagerly anticipated race of the 2011 Cheltenham Festival, Solwhit’s inclusion in the World Hurdle has grabbed the attention of many.

There’s a big buzz in Ireland surrounding Mourad (10/1 to win the World Hurdle) and Solwhit joins Welsh Champion Hurdle winner Oscar Whisky and Punchestowns at 14/1 as Big Buck’s faces a strong card as he searches for his third World Hurdle win.

There’s no denying Big Buck’s class over hurdles and the eight-year-old is unbeaten in his last ten starts, but with promising novices such as Grands Crus and Oscar Whisky coming through, there’s no doubting Big Buck’s is in a World Hurdle battle.

Should Hurricane Fly win the Champion Hurdle on the Tuesday of the Cheltenham Festival, then Solwhit should be considered in the betting despite running over three miles for the first time.

A £25 double on Hurricane Fly and Solwhit winning at the Cheltenham Festival would return £2,062.50. 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.