Belfast Telegraph

The Punter: Great chance to make Big money

How is the Festival treating you? Hopefully keeping the accounts in the black but if the red light is flashing, there is one horse who can redress the bank balance and that's Big Buck's.

Unbeaten in 10 races, he is a standout bet at odds against and can make history by becoming the first to win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle for the third time in a row under Ruby Walsh.

A great deal has been said about the David Pipe grey Grands Crus and while his form deserves the utmost respect, he has not met anything of the class of Big Buck's.

Grands Crus has improved in leaps and bounds but he's the type who pulls hard in his races and that will play into the hands of Big Buck's whose challenge will, as usual, come late in the game. Adopting the stalker's role is what he does best, so do not waste the opportunity to cash in as he should be odds-on but is currently available at 5-4.

Dual festival winner Voy Por Ustedes has been supplemented for the Ryanair Chase and, now trained by Nicky Henderson, is an interesting contender in what is a difficult race to sort out.

Winner of the Arkle and Champion Chase when with Alan King, he is now 10-year-old but has not seen a track this season and was only fifth last year behind Albertas Run and Poquelin.

Poquelin is the favourite as he was 12 months ago before going down to Albertas, who if running here instead of the Gold Cup tomorrow, is more than capable of triumphing again with Tony McCoy in the plate. Albertas loves Cheltenham and despite failing to complete in his last two outings, will be primed and readied by trainer Jonjo O'Neill.

Later on, look out for a big run from Malcolm Jefferson's Cape Tribulation in the Byrne Group Plate Handicap Chase. Priced at 16-1, the 2m 5f journey will suit Tribulation much better than when beaten over three miles at Wetherby behind the talented Wayward Prince.

Admittedly, he was a disappointing odds-on favourite at Hexham last time out when pipped by Radium, but his tendency to jump left did not help on a right-handed track whereas he will have no such problems here.

Belfast Telegraph

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