The punters have finally landed a big gamble on day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival for 2010 and it was Big Buck's who cruised to another victory in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle as an odds-on favourite. There was real tension at Cheltenham today with two odds-on favourites already beaten this week but Big Buck's was simply stunning today as he won with some in hand to write his name into the history books.
Ruby Walsh was happy to sit at the back of the field for most of the race and just slowly brought Big Buck's to the front of the field turning for home with only Time For Rupert to challenge him. In truth though there was no challenge as he picked up to storm clear of a field to the delight of the punters who have taken a beating so far this week. It was yet another Cheltenham Festival winner for Paul Nicholls who has had a difficult week after seeing Master Minded lose in the Champion Chase yesterday but he was delighted with the success of Big Buck's. The main support race today was the Ryanair Chase that looked an open heat on paper and proved to be just that with Albertas Run getting up to claim the win. AP McCoy gave an excellent ride on board the 14/1 shot but he was the class of the race to win by a distance and this was Albertas Run second winner at the Cheltenham Festival.
Elsewhere on Day 3 we saw an excellent ride by Richard Johnson on board Copper Bleu in the Jewson Novices as he came in as a 12/1 shot to get the day off to a flying start. It was an excellent renewal first up this afternoon with Othermix running a cracking race to claim the second spot at 50/1. Another well backed favourite in Alfie Sherrin was beaten in the Pertemps Final which saw last years second Buena Vista go one better and claim the win. It was an assured performance from the winner as he took up the running from a way out and held on up the hill to the delight of connections.
Sunnyhillboy went off as the well backed favourite for the Byrne Group Plate but despite a fast finish could only claim second behind Great Endevour who ran the perfect race. There were some that felt that Sunnyhillboy was given too much too do after being held up near the back but in truth his jumping was sketchy at best which cost him the victory. It was a day when there was once again only one favourite who took the win, but it was the big one with Big Buck's trouncing the field as an odds-on favourite. The punters finally delt a blow to the bookmakers and they will be hoping to do the same thing tomorrow when Kauto Star bids for his third Gold Cup victory as he takes on the might of Denman once again.