In the past when the subject of the World Hurdle came up in conversation racing fanatics were longing for a year they could discuss a number of horse’s chances and indulge in an endless debate, similar to the argument that would ensue if we were to talk about the Gold Cup or Champion Hurdle.
That hasn’t been the case and the World Hurdle has been dominated by the marvellous BIG BUCK’S
) for the last three years. In 2012 punters will be hoping that their wish is granted and there might be a serious challenge to his crown, but the champion will be a formidable opponent for his twelve rivals to conquer.
Big Buck’s has won fifteen times on the bounce made no mistake with his script in this race last year, putting up another battling performance to defend his title in the Grade One. Since he ditched a career over fences and found his fortune over hurdles, Paul Nicholls superstar has never looked back and he continues to fend off the opposition. Sent off at 1/4 in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham in January, he laughed at his rivals all the way to the line and anybody watching that will realise that it is virtually impossible to see Big Buck’s being beaten.
That being said, this year he faces a number of seriously classy hurdlers who will be looking to challenge the favourite’s dominance in the division and Nicky Henderson’s Oscar Whisky (9/2. Bet365
), Willie Mullins’ Thousand Stars (9/1, Betfred
) and So Young (20/1, Ladbrokes), along with Irish raider Voler La Vedette (25/1, Coral
) all bring top class form to the table.
They all have the ability to run huge races in the three-mile showpiece, but it would take a brave man to bet against Big Buck’s returning to the winner’s enclosure at the Cheltenham Festival.
Nick Wilby’s selection – Big Buck’s
- 4/6 (Ladbrokes