Peddlers Cross has cemented his claims as a genuine Champion Hurdle contender for 2011 after he stormed clear to win the fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newbury, the race was rearranged from Newcastle but the Neptune Novices Hurdle winner from 2010 was unfazed and he now looks like the one to watch. It was made all the more impressive as he comfortably beat Binocular who was making his first appearance since winning the Champion Hurdle back in March, the Nicky Henderson horse went off as an odds-on favourite but never seemed to enjoy the run and faded to third. Peddlers Cross though travelled in style and still had something in the tank as he held off Starluck coming to the line. The bookmakers were quick to take note and the Donald McCain Jnr horse is now the second favourite behind Binocular for the 2011 Champion Hurdle after being cut across the board.
It is hard to gauge the real form of Binocular who struggled in the Fighting Fifth last season before blowing the field away at the Cheltenham Festival just a few months later. He was reported to be well at home and the bookmakers have held him at favourite for the time being, his next run though will be all-important as he should come on for the run at Newbury meaning we should get a clearer picture of his form. The connections of Binocular will know that he will need to come on plenty though as in Peddlers Cross and Starluck he looks to be facing a double threat to his Champion Hurdle crown. The joker in the Champion Hurdle pack remains Hurricane Fly who we are yet to see this season, he was due to run at Fairyhouse over the weekend but that was another meeting that fell foul to the weather. He could still be anything for Willie Mullins and that is reflected in the latest betting, his first run will be of great interest and he could be the next name added to the already muddy Champion Hurdle waters.