Last year it was Kauto Star v Denman in the Gold Cup, this year it seems to be Big Buck’s v Grand Crus in the World Hurdle and punters are being given the chance to put their money where their mouth is this afternoon
Big Buck’s and Grand Crus’ war at Prestbury Park has attracted plenty of attention in the build up to this year’s Cheltenham Festival and opinion is divided on who will come out on top when they battle it out in today's feature.
The mighty Big Buck’s has been odds-on for much of the year, but now Ladbrokes are happy to lay the horse at 5/4 on a day when they want to get Paul Nicholls’ legendary hurdler turned over.
It will be interesting to see if he goes any bigger than that and it’ll be intriguing to see whether Grand Crus’ price shortens on drifts in the lead up to the race.
David Pipe’s challenger is a whopping 4/1 with William Hill and punters will be looking to hammer that price off the boards as the leading bookies continue to lure in new customers with some fantastic offers.
Jockey Ruby Walsh will be back on Big Buck’s after missing the gelding’s first two victories this season and he can’t wait for the action to get underway: "He's got some engine. He's 10 from 10 over hurdles and I'm hoping he's still unbeaten after Thursday. He is a bit quirky. He doesn't like to be in front too long and he lugs to his left a bit. He is a bit of a strange horse, but he's an incredible racehorse.
"He has the pace to be ridden handy but also the ability to stay three miles over hurdles and the World Hurdle is a tough race. They don't go much slower than in the Champion Hurdle but you have to go for an extra mile.
"It looks a better World Hurdle than last year, but he is a bit special. He is a bit more straightforward as he has got a bit older and doesn't idle as much.
"Grands Crus put up a very good performance last time out, but I wonder, is he a bit ground dependant? He seemed to act really well in soft last time, but he looks a really relentless galloper and David Pipe seems really keen on his chances."