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Big Buck's on the glory trail

Big Buck's will face seven rivals in the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree tomorrow as he goes in search of an incredible 17th win in a row.

Andy Stewart's pride and joy won his fourth World Hurdle at Cheltenham last month.

Paul Nicholls also runs the lightly raced Poungach, last seen chasing home Oscar Whisky at Cheltenham in January and the enigmatic Tidal Bay.

Alan King's Smad Place seems to be the only serious rival for Big Buck's. The grey five-year-old ran a career-best in the World Hurdle, finishing just over eight lengths behind in third.

Crack Away Jack has his first start for Tom George. In three runs for Nicholls the former Champion Hurdle fourth failed to recapture his old sparkle.

Restless Harry runs for Robin Dickin, while Sabrina Harty's Won In The Dark is the sole Irish challenger. The Donald McCain-trained Across The Bay completes the field.

GOLF

IRELAND'S boys hold a 7-5 advantage going into today's second round of singles against their Welsh counterparts in Cardigan.

The Irish youngsters lost just two of yesterday's eight singles clashes, winning five and picking up a half in another.

Wales recovered somewhat in the foursomes, securing two and a half of the four points on offer to close the gap to two points.

Elsewhere, European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal was arrested for speeding shortly after leaving Augusta National.

The Spaniard, the 1994 and '99 Masters champion, was clocked driving 97 miles an hour in a 65 mph zone when stopped.

SNOOKER

World champion John Higgins is aiming to put a "very bad" season behind him when he defends his title later this month.

The four-time champion often plays his best snooker at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, but he faces a battle this year after failing to win a tournament and falling to sixth in the world rankings following his 2011 World Championship triumph.

Irish Independent