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Cheltenham

  • 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

Full result

15:40 Cheltenham Result 28th January 2012
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Big Buck's (FR) 11-8 R Walsh P F Nicholls 9 1/4f
Held up in 4th, headway after 3 out, shaken up after next, switched left to challenge approaching last, driven to lead flat, stayed on well opened 1/5 touched 1/4
2nd 7 Dynaste (FR) 11-4 T Scudamore D Pipe 6 13/2
Tracked leader to 5th, soon settled in 3rd, went 2nd after 3 out, led next, hard pressed last, ridden and headed flat, no extra opened 8/1 touched 8/1
3rd 10 Mourad (IRE) 11-8 D E Mullins W P Mullins 7 10/1
Held up in last pair, headway 2 out, soon chased leading pair, kept on same pace, no impression when not fluent last opened 10/1 touched 10/1
4th Restless Harry 11-8 H Oliver R Dickin 8 20/1
Held up in 3rd, tracked leader 5th, challenged before 8th, led 3 out to next, soon ridden, no impression before last opened 20/1 touched 20/1
5th 5 Across The Bay (IRE) 11-0 J M Maguire D McCain Jnr 8 50/1
Led, not fluent 9th, headed 3 out, soon ridden, lost place next, behind when not fluent last opened 50/1 touched 50/1
6th Five Dream (FR) 11-0 Ryan Mahon P F Nicholls 8 25/1
Held up in last pair, outpaced 2 out, never on terms opened 25/1 touched 25/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £1.30 Tote Place: £1.10,2.20
Straight Forecast: £2.52 Exacta: £2.50 Swingers: 1&2:1.10 2&3:2.70 1&3:1.80

Jackpot: £16,666.60, Pool: £20710.4, 1.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £145.00, Pool: £178971.17, 900.77 winning tickets
Quadpot: £14.20, Pool: £13422.49, 696.95 winning tickets

Verdict

Win number 15 on the spin for the marvellous BIG BUCK'S as he gave his fans an extra treat by taking in this race en route to the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. Ultimately, the result was another easy victory but there were one or two moments when things were not perhaps as smooth as we have all become accustomed to year after year. That said, he never looked in any real danger and such is his dominance, it is front-page news when Ruby Walsh has to shake the reins at him. There were two small moments to point out here. He was 10 lengths behind the leading duo of Across The Bay and Restless Harry three out but Walsh was not unduly worried and was more concerned over the position of Mourad in behind as a brief look between his legs suggested. Ruby did have to give him a nudge to close up but was right on the heels of the leaders at the top of hill and more importantly in the slipstream of Dynaste. The latter took over at the second last and led to the second slight moment of concern as his burst of pace took him clear by three lengths as they straightened up for home. Walsh went in pursuit and was forced to switch Big Buck's to the left of Dynaste on the run to the last hurdle. He was upsides by that flight though and although both jumped the obstacle extremely well, it was the winner's greater staying power that quickly put seven lengths of daylight between him and the runner-up. Dynaste is progressing and got much closer to Big Buck's than their clash at Ascot prior to Christmas. Conor O'Farrell had tried to break Big Buck's further from home on that occasion but Tom Scudamore waited until two out this time before playing his hand. He had the classy Mourad beaten pointless in third and is turning into a smart young stayer. Unfortunately, Paul Nicholls' inmate is so far ahead of anyhting else at the moment in this division that it would take a massive off-day for him to be toppled in the World Hurdle at the Festival. Mourad will be hoping to challenge for a place once more in that race at best while Restless Harry and Across The Bay paid the price trying to pour on the pace from some distance out. Both stuck to their guns gamely in the circumstances and can make an impact again with their sights lowered. Five Dream had twice got to within single-figure beaten distances by the winner before Christmas but this time it was 30 lengths. His effort from the rear of the field here was short-lived and did not beat a horse home.