After siding with the dark destroyer in this afternoon’s World Hurdle showdown, William Hill were anointing Big Buck’s the toast of Cheltenham following his third emphatic win, but ruing a last-breath fightback by punters in the last.
Hills were stand-out odds on Grand Crus this morning at 4-1, and then went 9-2 for a 15-min frenzy between 10.45am and 11am. At the off; William Hill’s website and telephone lines counted almost 12,500 bets for the gallant grey.
Fair results for the layers stretched throughout the afternoon until the very last breath where Junior – backed into 10-3 favourite from an early-morning 7-1 –landed a wounding blow by taking the closing Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase.
Kate Miller, spokeswoman for William Hill, said: ‘’It’s been a mixed-bag of results. We bucked the trend by siding aggressively with Big Buck’s and were rewarded, but watching Junior come of age in the Kim Muir hurt us. It’s a photo-finish with the punters for this battle, but we’re still winning the war.’’