Cheltenham Festival Diary: Big Buck's hopes to win in yellow

 

David Beckham had DB. Cristiano Ronaldo has CR7. And Big Buck's, as befits his equine status, will have BB4 emblazoned on his bright yellow shoes as he bids to win a fifth World Hurdle title on Thursday afternoon.

The Betfair-sponsored racing plates, made from the latest in lightweight aluminium, also feature 12 stripes for each of the hurdles jumped and 4,828 spots, one for every metre of the race.

Trainer Paul Nicholls said: "Football fans are kitted out with the latest fancy footwear before every World Cup so why should it be any different for a racing superstar like Big Buck's at the Cheltenham Festival?"

Even AP can pick the wrong horse

You would think the best jockeys would know which horse to pick when given the choice, but it's amazing how often they get it wrong.

Even A P McCoy makes the odd wrong call, most recently when going for Champion Hurdle runner-up, My Tent Or Yours, instead of the winner, Jezki.

McCoy has elected to ride At Fishers Cross in Thursday's World Hurdle, but it was another tricky choice between two J P McManus-owned horses with roughly equal ability and punters should certainly not write off his reject, More Of That, who, like Jezki, will be partnered by Barry Geraghty.

Curtis leads the Welsh charge

Never mind the Irish, it was a great Wednesday for Wales with O'Faolains Boy winning the RSA Chase for Newport trainer Rebecca Curtis, and Whisper carrying the colours of Ffos Las racecourse owner Dai Walters to victory in the Coral Cup. This was the first Festival winner for Walters and he is optimistic of adding a quick second with Oscar Whisky in Thursday's opener.

I lost again, Get Me Out of Here

There are some horses, like Quevega, who would seem destined never to lose at Cheltenham; even when they are in trouble they somehow find a way to win. For others, it is just never meant to be. Get Me Out Of Here finished second for the fourth time at the Festival, the third time in a photo finish, leaving his normally unflappable trainer, Jonjo O'Neill, fit to spit.

"He loves the place and he loves the ground, but he just keeps finding one to beat him," said O'Neill.

King might not reign at Aintree

Trainer Philip Hobbs warns that Balthazar King, 33-1 for the Grand National after winning the Cross Country Chase for the second time, will not run at Aintree if the ground is soft.

Punters zig-zag through the hype

One of the buzz phrases on the Stock Exchange is that when everybody else zigs, you zag. It's not a bad position to take as a racing punter either and those going against the flow over the first two days at Cheltenham have had some joy.

True, the ziggers, following all the favourites, have been in the money with Vautour, Quevega and Faugheen, but the zaggers have struck back with the likes of Western Warhorse, Jezki and O'Faolains Boy, who were all barely mentioned in the pre-race hype before winning.

The World Hurdle zigs: Annie Power and Big Buck's. The zags? Everything else.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence