Big Buck's takes 14th straight win in Ascot's Long Walk Hurdle

Ruby Walsh on Big Buck's
Ruby Walsh has ridden Big Buck's in 12 of his 14 wins unbeaten run

Brilliant stayer Big Buck's stretched his unbeaten run over hurdles to 14 in Saturday's Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

Victory saw Big Buck's, ridden by Ruby Walsh, beat dual champion hurdler Bula's winning run of the 1960s.

He also closed on Sir Ken's record of 16 straight hurdles wins in the 1950s and passes £1m in career earnings.

Paul Nicholls's eight-year-old has now won the last three renewals of the race, with the previous two having been run at Newbury.

"He's an incredible stayer with loads of pace," said Walsh of Big Buck's who was riding right-handed in Britain for the first time. "He's just a really good horse. Two strides and he came alive.

"He's maturing and going right-handed wasn't an issue."

Nicholls added: "He's got everything hasn't he? He's a better horse this year than he was last year.

"We have just got to watch him, pick our races carefully and hopefully he'll be very hard to beat. He's all class."

His last defeat came over fences in the 2008 Hennessy Gold Cup when rider Sam Thomas was unseated at the last.

After that race, Nicholls decided to switch the horse to run over hurdles and on 1 January 2009 at Cheltenham, he began his winning run, winning three Cheltenham World Hurdles en route to now.

"Not winning the Hennessy was probably a good thing," added Nicholls. "If that didn't happen, he wouldn't have been here now.

"It's worked out really well and it's going to be very hard to beat him if he stays in that form."

The eight-year-old finished well ahead of stablemate Five Dream, with Restless Harry, who won a Grade Two race at Wetherby first time out this season before twice meeting with defeat over fences, third.

Young pretender Dynaste set out to test Big Buck's from the start but weakened rounding the home turn and finished fourth.

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