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Newbury

  • 14:35 Sportingbet Long Distance Hurdle 3m 110y

  • (Grade 2) £30,000 added 4yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner £17,085 2nd £6,411 3rd £3,210 4th £1,599
  • Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 9.30s
  • Off time: 14:36:34

Buck's goes the distance

View from connections ahead of the Long Distance Hurdle

Last Updated: 25/11/11 11:44am

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Big Buck's: Faces five rivals at Newbury

Big Buck's: Faces five rivals at Newbury

Unrivalled stayer Big Buck's will face five opponents as he bids to extend his remarkable winning streak in the Sportingbet Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.

The three-time World Hurdle hero has been successful on his last 12 racecourse appearances and has made a winning seasonal return in this Grade Two contest for the last two years.

Trainer Paul Nicholls said: "He's in great shape and we are looking forward to him running.

"He had a gallop with Kauto (Star) at Exeter recently, he went nicely and is in good form.

"He's won three (World Hurdles) and it will be wonderful to try and win four."

Perhaps his chief rival this weekend is Keiran Burke's talented mare Sparky May, a four-time winner last season and second to Quevega at Cheltenham.

Sparky May

Burke has been the only man to ride Sparky May in her career so far, but Timmy Murphy takes over in the saddle on Saturday, with Burke having recently taking over training duties from Pat Rodford.

"We're obviously running to finish second, but we want to find out how good she is and then we can plan for the rest of the season," said the Somerset-based handler.

"She's done very well over the summer and she's a lot bigger and stronger than she was last season.

"She has grown up a lot as well, so hopefully it will all help.

"I think the track will suit her well. I actually don't think Cheltenham suits her all that much and that isn't going to be our number one priority this year.

"She's not fully wound up and she should come on a bit for the run tomorrow.

"I schooled her last week and I was thinking I need to get my riding licence back!"

The Remainder

Duc De Regniere won this race in 2008 and has been placed behind Big Buck's in the last two renewals. He makes his debut for rookie trainer Tom Symonds.

Nicholls also saddles Five Dream, while Pettifour and Cerium complete the line-up.

Pettifour returned from a lengthy absence to fill the runner-up spot in a Cheltenham handicap last month, but trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies admits he faces a far tougher opponent on Saturday.

"He ran a very good race on his comeback at Cheltenham, but obviously Big Buck's is a different kettle of fish," said the Naunton handler.

"He's run well in this race before and we'll see what happens. If he could be placed, that would be lovely.

"He was fairly straight for his run at Cheltenham, so I don't think he'll improve for that an awful lot."

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