Big Buck's wins World Hurdle
Thursday 12 March 2009
Ruby Walsh rode his fifth winner of the Cheltenham Festival today when he took Big Buck's to victory in the World Hurdle.
The 6-1 third favorite stalked the pack throughout the 3-mile (4.8 kilometer) race before surging to the front at the last hurdle, when the 6-year-old overcame a heavy landing to stay ahead of Punchestowns and win by about two lengths.
"This horse has a huge engine, it's just getting it out of him at times," said Walsh, who now has 22 career wins at Britain's most prestigious hurdles meet. "It's a cracking horse this."
The 7-2 second favorite Punchestowns finished second, with 25-1 shot Powerstation in third. Pre-race favorite Kasbah Bliss, last year's runner-up with Christophe Pieux on board again, appeared well-placed throughout but could not find a late surge and came in fourth.
Walsh became the first jockey in 10 years to win three races in a single day at Cheltenham yesterday. The 29-year-old Irishman is now the most successful current rider at the festival, one ahead of Tony McCoy.
Outsiders Whatuthink and Shakervilz were the front two for most of the race, with Big Buck's hemmed in and Kasbah forced wide down the back straight.
Punchestowns emerged at the front as the field spread and led at the second last jump before being overtaken by Big Buck's.
The festival continues Friday with the showpiece Gold Cup.
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