Dethroning Big Buck’s unlikely, so Champion best for Peddlers Cross
Donald McCain remains convinced that Peddlers Cross will spring back to his best over hurdles this season and that he could perhaps be the classiest horse to have ever taken on Big Buck’s.
Big Buck’s is 5/4 to win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle for the fifth consecutive time this year and with the horse still to be beaten after 17 career starts over hurdles, punters will continue to find him hard to oppose.
Some classy types have tried and failed to stop Big Buck’s in this period, including Kasbah Bliss, Grands Crus and Oscar Whiskey, but all have fallen short.
Peddlers Cross may be next in line in the Big Buck’s gauntlet, but based on the performances of both Oscar Whiskey and Thousand Stars in the last Ladbrokes World Hurdle, he will also fall short.
Like Peddlers Cross, this pair were without an obvious race at Cheltenham, as their preferred racing distance is 2m4f.
The decision was made that they were without the necessary speed to challenge in the Champion Hurdle over 2m and so they put their stamina to the test against Big Buck’s over 3m.
Ultimately, the pair never got home up the Cheltenham hill and this is something that is likely to ring true for Peddlers Cross, who has so far never ran over anything further than 2m5f.
His season is expected to start in the Ascot Hurdle over 2m4f back over hurdles after a below-par chase campaign last year and McCain wants to analyse this race first before making any concrete plans.
However, the last two winners of the Champion Hurdle have been aged seven and this almost certainly looks the best option for the horse, especially as he has already finished second before.
Peddlers Cross is 20/1 to win the 2013 Champion Hurdle and even if he has lost a little bit of speed in the last two years, this must represent his best chance of a Cheltenham Festival victory.
All odds and markets correct as of publication