Grands Crus heads a field of 16 in the Cleeve Hurdle betting

Saturday’s Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham’s Festival Trials Day holds plenty of clues for the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Grands Crus currently heads the Cleeve Hurdle betting at 9/4, but while Saturday’s betting market is sure to be explosive with 16 horses taking on the Cheltenham hill, punters should also be exploring the ante post World Hurdle betting market.

Since the Cleeve Hurdle was upped to three miles in 2005 the race has produced three World Hurdle champions, and new punters to Ladbrokes wishing to take advantage of any ante post value can sign up here for a free Cheltenham Festival bet worth £25.

With World Hurdle odds of 12/1, Grands Crus is the obvious one to watch in Saturday’s race, but Bensalem (14/1 for the World Hurdle), Restless Harry (33/1) and Arcalis (50/1) are all looking to enhance their World Hurdle champions.

Bensalem is currently second favourite in the Cleeve Hurdle betting at 4/1, with Organisateur and Spirit River both available at 6/1.

Bensalem hasn’t run since a bout of pneumonia last summer, but after strong finishes behind Gold Cup contender Diamond Harry over fences last year, and classy mare Quevega over hurdles, the Alan King-trained eight-year-old is a classy horse who can enhance his World Hurdle claims on Saturday.

Restless Harry, who finished third behind World Hurdle favourite Big Buck’s (4/7) at Newbury in December, is a big price for the Cleeve Hurdle at 12/1 and can upset a few favourite backers.

Arcalis, who was second in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, has Cleeve Hurdle odds of 25/1, and has the potential for a top three finish.

Big Buck’s is many people’s banker for the 2011 Cheltenham Festival, but Grands Crus can remind everyone that the World Hurdle betting is still open with a win on Saturday.

A £25 stake on Grands Crus winning the Cleeve Hurdle would return £81.25. New customers can sign up here for a free bet worth £25.


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 team.