Big Buck's wins 17th straight jumps race on first day of Aintree Festival
BIG Buck's became the first horse to win 17 straight British jump races when he eased to a fourth consecutive victory in the Liverpool Hurdle on the opening day of the Aintree Festival on Thursday.
The French-bred horse, ridden by Ruby Walsh and trained by Paul Nicholls, won the 3-mile race by seven lengths. Britain's leading horse racing guide, The Racing Post, said Big Buck's broke the 59-year world record he held jointly with Sir Ken, who ran in the 1950s.
"Each win is very precious, but obviously to do 17 and go into the record books is very precious to us," owner Andy Stewart said.
Nine-year-old Big Buck's hasn't lost since switching from racing over the bigger fences to the hurdles at the start of 2009, confirming his status as one of the greatest long-distance jumps horses of all time.
He went off as a 2-9 favorite and only took the lead with two hurdles remaining, building a big enough lead to cruise home in the final 50 meters as he took in the acclaim of the crowd.
"We are totally flattered by the reception he has been given by everyone here," Stewart said. "He hasn't had an off-day since unseating in the Hennessy Gold Cup (in 2008)."
The meet culminates on Saturday with the Grand National Steeplechase, the world's most famous jump race.