The initial list of entries for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle have been released and there is no surprise to see the great Big Bucks heading the 37. The Paul Nicholls horse has won the stayers hurdle for the last three years and will go into the 2012 race as the hot favourite for a fourth consecutive win in the race. So far the horse remains unbeaten over hurdles and has been as impressive as ever this season with wins in the Long Walk and Long Distance Hurdles to his name already. Big Bucks is likely to have one more run before Cheltenham in the Cleeve Hurdle before he bids to become the first horse ever to win the World Hurdle for a fourth consecutive time in March. Over the past few years a number of horses have been able to challenge Big Bucks but no horse has managed to deal with his peed up the Cheltenham Hill and most believe that will be the case once again in 2012.
Punters looking for a horse to oppose Big Bucks may want to consider the excellent Oscar whisky who could well take his chance for Nicky Henderson. The Welsh Champion Hurdle winner has shown plenty of speed over two miles but connections are convinced he will improve for the longer distance on offer in the World Hurdle. Punters backing him to beat Big Bucks will be taking something of a leap of faith but there is no doubt that he offers a decent alternative at the prices for Cheltenham. The Irish challenge is a strong one as you expect with Willie Mullins leading the way with a number of excellent entires at this early stage. Perhaps the Mullins horse with the best chance in the World Hurdle is the classy So Young who is another horse who seems to be happy running anywhere between two and three miles. So Young is a horse who seems to be on an upward curve which makes him an attractive betting proposition but it is difficult to imagine any horse breaking the reign of the great Big Bucks.