Jumps star Big Buck's closing in on record

 

With racing historically the best-documented of all sports, it is perhaps no surprise that records and milestones hold particular fascination. The calendar that preceded the modern formbook has detailed the achievements of the thoroughbred since 1727, the stud book has recorded the development of the breeds since 1790. Together, the two provide a treasury of information.

Jumping's longest winning streak is now under serious threat. On Saturday, the superlative hurdler Big Buck's, unbeaten for nearly three years, won his 13th race on the spin and now needs just three more to equal Sir Ken, who won 16 hurdle races in succession between 1951 and 1953.

That great horse's winning run included two of his three Champion Hurdles but in his day there were few decent prizes for horses of his gifts and many of his victories came in uncompetitive minor contests, one at odds of 1-33. Big Buck's, though, has raced only at the top two levels since launching his unbeaten run in January 2009.

Whether or not he can get to Sir Ken, his five-length saunter at Newbury means he is now as short as 4-7 to establish his own piece of history by taking the Cheltenham Festival stayers' championship, the World Hurdle, an unprecedented four times and his regular rider Ruby Walsh has few doubts. "He's a good, safe jumper, goes on any ground and hardly has to come out of second gear," he said. "He's better than any pension at the moment, isn't he?"

Another hurdler, Overturn, put himself in the record books by becoming the first to win Newcastle's top contest on the Flat, the Northumberland Plate, and over obstacles, the Fighting Fifth Hurdle. One in the versatile mould of a Sea Pigeon, the progressive Overturn saw off last year's Champion Hurdle winner, Binocular, for his first Grade One success but is to miss the rematch in the next top-level prize on the domestic two-mile circuit, the Christmas Hurdle on Boxing Day.

"He's as tough as nails and you wouldn't know he'd had a race this morning," the seven-year-old's trainer Donald McCain said. "He's a fantastic horse; just when you think he can't do any more, he goes and does it. But he'll have a break now and he won't be going to Kempton."

Overturn has another tilt at the Champion Hurdle, in which he was seventh in March, pencilled in. "We'll have another go as he does seem to have improved this season," McCain added, "and he'll have one run beforehand."

The Hennessy Gold Cup put Lord Oaksey in the unique position of being the only man to have ridden and bred a winner of the prestige handicap chase. As an amateur rider, he drove Taxidermist to a short-head victory in 1958 and is breeder and part-owner of the latest victor, Carruthers.

Saturday's hero, who made most of the running under Mattie Batchelor, has taken his exertions in his gallant stride and has the Welsh National at the end of next month on his agenda. "He's bright and perky," his trainer Mark Bradstock said, "and he's entered at Chepstow. We'll see what the handicapper does."

No winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe has followed up in the Japan Cup and Danedream, who took Europe's most valuable race in a record time last month, is no exception. The Peter Schiergen-trained filly, much compromised by her wide draw, finished only sixth behind local heroine Buena Vista, whose last-stride success in the world's third-richest race – after the Dubai World Cup and Melbourne Cup – provided a £2m compensation for her demotion to second last year.

Another Arc winner, Sea The Stars, has been rewriting a set of record books in his second career. By the end of the British and Irish bloodstock world's foal auction season on Saturday, 13 of the unbeaten 2009 champion's first-crop sons and daughters had made an aggregate £4.5m under the hammer, the best commercial start ever by a stallion.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Super Directa (1.15 Ffos Las)

A winner on the Flat and over hurdles, he was put in his place by a potentially very useful rival on his first try over fences. With a less taxing task today he can complete his full house.

 

Next Best

Beau Colonel (2.00 Folkestone)

Jumped soundly and shaped with a degree of promise on his chasing debut three weeks ago. Should settle better and strip fitter with that run out of the way.

 

One to Watch

A mistake halfway round at Exeter last week knocked the stuffing from Flaming Charlie (Alan King) and he can be given another chance.

 

Where The Money's Going

Serial leading trainer Paul Nicholls has yet to win a Champion Hurdle and one of this season's candidates, Rock On Ruby, has attracted interest for the Cheltenham crown – as short as 12-1 (with Ladbrokes) – since his winning return to action on Saturday.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little