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Big Bucks Odds-On For World Hurdle

Big Bucks heads the betting market for the Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham on Thursday, March 17.

Those ready to place some cheltenham free bets note that there are a total of 46 entries held for the £260,000 contest but the Paul Nicholls-trained 8-year-old has opened as best price 4/7 favourite and with good reason.

Since being switched from big obstacles having unseated Sam Thomas in Hennessey old Cup in November 2008 the horse has remained unbeaten, winning ten races in a row. This superb winning record contains five Grade 1 victories and also includes winning the World Hurdle in 2009 and 2010.

The most recent success was an impressive performance in the re-arranged Long Walk at Newbury in December and even then the chances of Big Bucks claiming a record breaking third successive victory in the World Hurdle was being talked up.

However, despite the impressive argument that can be made for Big Bucks at this early stage it seems that many shrewd ante-post backers are looking elsewhere for value. Chief amongst the potential challengers for the title are a number of well respected Nick Henderson runners, including the 2009 runner-up Punchestowns and 2009 JCB Triumph Hurdle winner, Zaynar.

Others of note include the David Pipe-trained Grand Crus and the Alan King-trained pair of Karabak and Bensalem.

The Irish raiders come from Willie Mullins who has five entries Quevega and Mourad.

So although the bookmakers have put their lot in with Big Bucks this superb race looks like it will remain a fascinating prospect over the next couple of months and we anticipate the Cheltenham Festival with relish.

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