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  • 15:40 Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle 3m

  • (Grade 2) £50,000 added 5yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner £28,475 2nd £10,685 3rd £5,350 4th £2,665
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 57.90s
  • Off time: 15:40:07

Big Buck's claims Cleeve

Fifteen on the trot for top staying hurdler

Last Updated: 28/01/12 4:14pm

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Big Buck's: Fifteen in a row

Big Buck's: Fifteen in a row

Big Buck's had to work harder than expected to land the Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Paul Nicholls' supertstar was making it 15 straight wins over hurdles but the race was not as silky smooth as connections may have wanted.

Ruby Walsh was forced to nudge him into contention at the top of the hill and he was then asked a bigger question off the home turn as Dynaste poached a five-length lead.

But Walsh got Dynaste back in his sights on board the 1-4 favourite and a good leap at the last saw him move clear on the run-in to score by seven lengths.

Class Horse

Nicholls said: "If we won today it was great, but if we lost I was the one who was going to get shot.

"Obviously I've left plenty to work on but I just wanted to keep him interested without murdering him at home.

"He switches off in his races. Ruby said he was going to play it late today.

"It's quite a lot of pressure (running him). I said to (owner) Andy (Stewart) I wanted to run him and he wasn't sure.

"He's such a class horse, he's get to the last, pricks his ears and goes."

Walsh added: "Stayers shouldn't win on the bridle, that's why they're stayers.

"I didn't need to pick my stick up, there was no need."

Owner Andy Stewart added: "Instead of giving him a racecourse gallop, we thought we'd come to Cheltenham so the public could see him and I'm very pleased we did.

"He's reached 15 now so hopefully he will make it 16 at the Festival.

"Dai Walters says Oscar Whisky is going to take on Big Buck's on the Thursday at the Festival so I look forward to that."

David Pipe was pleased with the efforts of the runner-up, adding: "He's run the best race of his life and I expect we will be back again the Festival."

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