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Cheltenham Heroes: Back Big Buck’s at Coral’s big price

| 13.03.2014

When it comes to Cheltenham Festival heroes, Big Buck’s is at the top of the list and you’d be silly not to take advantage.

Paul Nicholls’ gelding is considered to be the greatest staying hurdler of all time and is bidding to win the World Hurdle for a record fifth time.

The 11-year-old notched four consecutive victories in the 3m feature from 2009-2012, but was ruled out of last year’s contest due to a tendon injury.

He has won 23 of his 39 starts under rules, securing £1,301,685 win and place prize money in the process,

Meanwhile, prior to getting beat on his comeback run last time out, he had built up an 18-race unbeaten sequence over hurdles.

His run in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham back in January when finishing third to Knockara Beau was his first for 420 days, and he ran a blinder to be beaten just 3/4 of a length.

The son of Cadoudal travelled with his customary ease throughout the contest and looked sure to win when taking up the running, only to tire late on the run-in, as lack of race fitness took its toll.

It was an effort which suggested that he retained all his old ability and his handler is confident he will be back to his best for the World Hurdle.

Nicholls said: “Big Buck’s lost 10 kilos after Cheltenham and it tightened him up. He had a week off afterwards and there’s only one day we want him back to his best for. He’s a much better horse on decent ground so I hope it’s not too soft. He’s my best chance at the Festival this year.”

When a trainer like Nicholls suggest that he is his best chance of the meeting you sit up and take note, especially when it is a horse like Big Buck’s, who has such a superb record at Cheltenham.

He has won seven of his eight starts at Prestbury Park over the 3m trip of the World Hurdle, making him the Guv’nor who doesn’t take it lightly when others come onto his turf and try to steal his crown.

Many have tried valiantly to do so, but Big Buck’s has broken their hearts.

Grands Crus looked as if he was going to prevail when drawing upsides after the last in the 2011 running, but not for the first time Big Buck’s dug deep, found extra and said “thou shalt not pass”.

It was a similar story in 2012 when the Irish mare Voler La Vedette tried all she could to get past, only for Big Buck’s to stay on in mighty fashion to score by 1 3/4 lengths.

Those wins showed what Big Buck’s is all about. As well as oozing pure class he has a will to win like no other.

He is a street fighter who is able to deliver the knockout blow when it matters most, and those taking him on this year will need to have guts as well as brilliance if they are to stop him notching his fifth win in the contest. Truly a Cheltenham Hero!



David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.