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Ibet: Big Buck’s Age Against Him In World Hurdle

Gareth Purnell

4529327892 460b916191 b Ibet: Big Buck’s Age Against Him In World HurdleLadbrokes World Hurdle: Lay Big Bucks

I’ve been lucky enough to see Big Buck’s score twice at Cheltenham. Indeed I once saw someone (successfully) place a £30,000 win bet on him in the Betfair tent. Nice. The issue here revolves around whether Big Buck’s can regain the crown that injury denied him defending last season. Paul Nicholls’ superstar has not enjoyed a trouble-free preparation and that’s been reflected in his price. On December 29th he was available at 9/4, with At Fisher’s Cross 5/1 and Annie Power 10/1. By February 1st Big Buck’s was 5/2, with Annie Power 3/1 and At Fisher’s Cross 12/1. The prices at the time of writing are Annie Power 7/4, Big Buck’s 3/1 and At Fisher’s Cross 8/1. Hardly a dramatic drift, but the move for the mare Annie Power is significant and she will like the good ground, plus she gets a 7lb sex allowance. She’s never run at three miles, but looks like the distance could even bring about further improvement. The big negative against Big Buck’s though is his age (the four-time winner is now 11). No horse aged ten and above has won in recent years and on that basis and at the price I’m a layer rather than a backer. If we are looking for some each way value, jockey Bryan Cooper reckons that Rule The World (10/1) represents one of his best rides of the week. The horse was second to unlucky Champion Hurdle third The New One in the Neptune last year, returned to winning ways at Naas recently, and seems to be coming back to the boil. However, he failed on his only other attempt at three miles and that has to be a major concern. It’s interesting to note that Cooper fears Annie Power a lot more than Big Buck’s. I quite like the profile of the unbeaten More of That (10/1), who is relatively unexposed, doesn’t have much to find on the ratings, and looks like he will get the distance. But AP McCoy has opted for At Fisher’s Cross. On balance if I was backing anything here, it would have to the undefeated Annie Power, who has been totally dominant in all her victories.

Advices

Tottenham have scored at least twice in each of their last 10 home games in the Europa League, winning nine of them, scoring 27 times and conceding eight in the process. All 10 of those matches would have satisfied the +2.5 goals bet. Easyodds.com highlight that over 2.5 goals at White Hart Lane in the Last 16 first leg is best odds of 21/20. Benfica have only failed to score twice in 30 matches so far this season. Last season’s losing Europa League finalists had a mixed record away from home in the competition, winning at Leverkusen and Bordeaux, drawing at Newcastle and losing to Fenerbahce. They have only kept one clean sheet in their last seven EL away games. Tottenham to win and both teams to score is 21/5 through easyodds.

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