Latest Cheltenham tips for Day Three, as the World Hurdle takes centre stage with Annie Power and Big Bucks doing battle this afternoon (15:20).
It doesn’t get much bigger on Day Three with Cheltenham festival tips, and with than Annie Power against Big Buck’s and there is only one way we can see this going, and it’s not in the favour of the mare.
ANNIE POWER – 7/1 OFFER
PADDY POWER EXCLUSIVE ODDS!
Firm offers 7/1 Annie Power to win World Hurdle (was 6/4)
Paddy Power have announced they are offering an ‘enhanced’ price on favourite ‘Annie Power’ to win the World Hurdle at Cheltenham this year (was 16/4) More details below!
Big Buck’s is a four-time World Hurdle champion for a reason. He has all the credentials and course form to out gun his younger rival, who has yet to race over three miles or further, although she should stay the trip on everything we’ve seen so far.
Willie Mullins’ star mare is a classy sort but her stamina is not guaranteed and one point that hasn’t been brought up yet is her jumping ability. Frankly, for a horse that set to go off near even money in a Grade One, her jumping does not inspire much confidence.
Against Zarkandar at Ascot she was very guessy at times with her jumping and although she didn’t make a serious mistake, she lost crucial momentum at the ones she misplaced.
She was at it again when running away with a Mickey Mouse mares race at Doncaster. Completely missing the last flight under no pressure whatsoever, which makes me wonder how well her jumping will hold up in a very fast run World Hurdle.
Although the money has been pouring in on her chances, we’re more interested in following the World Hurdle legend at 7/2 than taking a very short price, around the 7/4 mark, on the chances of the mare.
A lot has been talked about regarding Big Buck’s comeback run in the Cleeve Hurdle and most of it has been complete rubbish.
Yes, he was beaten by Knockera Beau, yes he didn’t seem to see his race out with his usual class but there are mitigating circumstances and everything that I wanted to see from Big Buck’s on his return in order to believe he still retains his ability was there.
Firstly, and this has been overlooked by many, Big Buck’s jumped like the stag he always was.
He never missed a hurdle under Sam Twiston-Davies, who was riding him for the first time. Secondly, he travelled like the best horse in the race.
Twiston-Davies sent him to the front with three to jump due to the fact he was travelling so well and everything looked in trouble as they approached the last. It was there, where clearly, his fitness and inability to handle the ground cost him the race.
Trainer Paul Nicholls is also a master at getting an older horse fit after a long layoff.
Just look at the list: Kauto Star, Denman, Tidal Bay and Neptune Collonges all had their problems in old age before coming back to win Grade Ones.
Big Buck’s won’t have been 100% spot on in the Cleeve Hurdle but when Nicholls says he expects him to improve nearly a stone for the race it certainly pays to listen to a man of that ilk.
Get on the legend!