The excitement ahead of the Cheltenham Festival is beginning to reach fever pitch and this year’s Champion Hurdle is one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the year, despite the sensational last minute withdrawal of reigning champion Binocular.
There will be plenty of punters left scratching their heads after Nicky Henderson’s superstar was left out of the declarations on Sunday but supporters of Peddlers Cross, Menorah and Hurricane Fly will not be too disheartened.
Punters looking to get their bets on this morning will be waking up to three joint favourites at Paddy Power and the Irish firm are going 4/1 on each of the market leaders. They are top price on the trio but they are not the only bookmaker wondering who will start the race as favourite.
Speaking on Monday, David Williams of Ladbrokes told Cheltenhampro: "It is impossible to say with any certainty which of the front two will go off favourite. Much will depend on the confidence of the Irish and whether they're prepared to pile into Hurricane Fly."
Of the outsiders, Oscar Whisky has been backed into 7/1 with Coral, while last year’s runner-up Khyber Kim has attracted plenty of each-way money with Nigel Twiston-Davies’ classy hurdler now a best priced 12/1 with Victor Chandler.