Peddlers Cross: unchanged at 10-1 for the World Hurdle with LadbrokesPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Unconvincing Peddlers back to winning ways
Report: Musselburgh, Wednesday
Howies Restaurant Edinburgh Hurdle 2m6f
PEDDLERS CROSS registered a first win in over a year at Musselburgh on Wednesday, although whether he enhanced his Cheltenham Festival claims is open to debate.
Sent off at prohibitive odds of 1-5, Peddlers Cross travelled like the good horse he is through the race but had to be shaken up after the last to see off runner-up Cue To Cue, a horse rated fully 35lb inferior to the winner.
Ladbrokes reacted by leaving Peddlers Cross at 10-1 for the World Hurdle which they sponsor but Coral were less impressed, easing him to 14-1 (from 10).
Trainer Donald McCain had expected the 2011 Champion Hurdle runner-up to improve for a recent second in a jumpers' bumper at Kempton and must have been pleased to see Tim Leslie's eight-year-old travelling with enthusiasm as stablemate Ubaltique cut out the early running.
Peddlers Cross pulled his way to the front at the third last and looked likely to run out a convincing winner but he had to be ridden after jumping the last to come away from the likeable Cue To Cue.
Reacting to the performance, McCain said: "My first thought was that I'd expected him to win a bit more impressive so I went to speak to Jason and he was full of it.
"He's the man that matters and was really pleased. He travelled well but was just a bit lazy from the last but he's always been like that, even when he won the Neptune."
Looking to Cheltenham, McCain added: "Jason said he felt more like a World Hurdle horse today than ever before and it has to be that race I think, although I will talk it through with Tim again first.
"We tried a tongue-tie today because we wanted to tick all the boxes and have no excuses. He will probably have a blow round Bangor in a couple of weeks but he wasn't blowing too much after that."