The Ladbrokes World Hurdle Betting has been shaken up this week following the news of injury to Big Buck's with star mare Quevega now the warm favourite. The Willie Mullins horse had been expected to switch to the World Hurdle following the Bug Buck's news but connections have been swift to suggest that may not be the case. Quevega has won the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham for the past four years and Mullins has stated that a fifth win in that race remains the aim at this stage. A fifth successive win at Cheltenham would equal the great Golden Miller and it appears that connections have that in the forefront of their minds despite the big carrot of the World Hurdle dangling in front of them. A clash between Big Buck's and Quevega has long been touted but has always been nipped in the bud by Willie Mullins with the Irish Trainer happy for his horse to stick to her own sex at the Festival. With Big Buck's now out of the way there has to be some temptation for Quevega to run in the World Hurdle which looks a wide open race for the first time in many years.
Mullins has suggested that the only way Quevega will run in the World Hurdle is if she runs at the Cheltenham Festival twice in 2013. That appears to be an unlikely scenario but she is a very lightly run horse and with the Mares race on the Tuesday and the World Hurdle on the Thursday that remains a possibility. Quevega can currently be backed for the race with a run which appears to be safest option at this early stage with three months to go until the Festival. She remains the hot favourite for the Mares Hurdle and given the way she has won over the past few years she looks a dead cert if she takes in the David Nicholson once again. It promises to be a fascinating build up to the Festival this season with the World Hurdle suddenly the most interesting of the ante post Festival markets. Along with Quevega the new betting market includes the likes of Oscar Whisky, Rite Of Passage and Peddlers Cross with none of them certain to run in the race at this early stage but all more than capable of running a big race on their day.