Big Buck's makes history after 17th consecutive victory


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The Independent Online

Big Buck's created history in the BGC Partners Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree by winning his 17th successive race, breaking the modern-day jumps total of Sir Ken.

The Paul Nicholls-trained nine-year-old maintained his unbeaten record over hurdles in England, winning this Grade One event for the fourth time.

Having also won the last four renewals of the World Hurdle at Cheltenham, the Andy Stewart-owned gelding rewarded punters who took the 2-9 on offer about the favourite.

Ruby Walsh settled the superstar in third position and he travelled well through the early stages.

When Restless Harry fell early on the second circuit and brought down Won In The Dark, followed by the fall of Smad Place, his task was made easier, should he have needed it.

Crack Away Jack travelled well to challenge but failed like so many before him and eventually trailed in well beaten in second.

Stewart said: "He seemed to be idling a little in front. Alan King's horse (Smad Place) was right behind us until unfortunately he came to grief. I was glad to see them all get up.

"We take every race as it comes and we are totally flattered by the reception he has been given by everyone here. He hasn't had an off-day since unseating in the Hennessy a few years ago.

"Undoubtedly (this win means the most), this is absolutely marvellous.

"Each win is very precious, but obviously to do 17 and go into the record books is very precious to us.

"It's been very flattering. People have been coming up for my autograph - he's more newsworthy than I am, but it's a privilege.

"Next year he'll go for the same programme and the Cleeve Hurdle as well."

Nicholls said: "It was straightforward today. He jumped and travelled and did everything right. We're happy with him.

"Now he's got older it pays to give him a race between the Long Walk and Cheltenham, so the Cleeve is ideal. We'll follow the same route."

Walsh added: "The easy part is riding him. He's an incredible horse. He's skated in today. It wasn't as competitive a race as Cheltenham.

"He's bolted in and the last couple of years he's been better here than at Cheltenham.

"We're lucky we've never got to the bottom of him. He's never been extended over hurdles. I would say there's more there."