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Ladbrokes World Hurdle - Thu March 15th 2012 

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Big Buck's Makes World Hurdle History
15/03/12

1 Big Buck's 5/6 Fav
2 Voler La Vedette 20/1
3 Smad Place 20/1
NR: Carlito Brigante (IRE), King Of The Night (GER)
11 ran Distances: 1¾l, 7l, 3l
TIME 5m 44.20s (slow by 3.20s)

The remarkable Big Buck’s won an unprecedented fourth Ladbrokes World Hurdle when fighting off a determined Voler La Vedette and in the process equalled the record winning streak of 16 over jumps, set between 1951 and 1953.

Big Buck’s
© racing-images.co.uk

Big Buck’s

The victory was a relief for trainer Paul Nicholls who has had a number of reverses this week despite Rock On Ruby’s success in the Stan James Champion Hurdle on Tuesday.

“He saved us and we needed that,” said Nicholls. “I was a bit worried because they have been totally out of form apart from the Champion Hurdle. It’s been a bit of a disaster apart from Rock On Ruby. Stupid little things have gone wrong and the cards just haven’t fallen right for us.

“We have just been struggling for form and things haven’t gone to plan. As I said we had had coughing but it hasn’t really affected the older horses, it’s more the younger ones. But you just want to see them all in better form generally.

“For me winning today means more than anything, this was our number one target and the one I wanted this week because he is so special. Tomorrow (with Kauto Star) is another thing. It’s just a fairytale for the horse to be running here and to win would be unbelievable. I’m not expecting him to win but win, lose or draw I think he will get a great reception tomorrow.

“It was a great ride and, when Big Buck’s was pricking his little ears going to the last, I knew that we were in business because he just keeps galloping. It was nearly a career-best effort today.

“Andrew Lynch was brilliant on the runner-up - he had to do things differently as well because there was no point sitting coming home and turning it into a sprint. We could have done with someone going further and giving us a tow but, there we are.

“He’s awesome and to have 16 wins and four World Hurdles is pretty amazing. He’s just class, a fantastic horse. It was a brilliant ride - Ruby needed that, I needed that, the whole team needed that. It’s brilliant.

“Let’s hope he can come back next year and make it five. He’s been to Aintree for the last four years and that’s the plan again at the moment.”

 

Position
Horse
Trainer
Jockey
Weight
Starting Price
Beaten Distance
1
Big Buck's
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 10lbs
5 - 6
Winner
2
Voler La Vedette
C A Murphy
A E Lynch
11st 3lbs
20 - 1
1 3/4 length
3
Smad Place
A King
R Thornton
11st 10lbs
20 - 1
7 lengths
4
Thousand Stars
W P Mullins
P Townend
11st 10lbs
8 - 1
3 lengths
5
Oscar Whisky
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 10lbs
4 - 1
1 1/2 length
6
Mourad
W P Mullins
Ms K Walsh
11st 10lbs
33 - 1
26 lengths
7
Cross Kennon
Jennie Candlish
A O'Keeffe
11st 10lbs
100 - 1
3 3/4 lengths
8
Dynaste
D Pipe
T Scudamore
11st 10lbs
14 - 1
1 3/4 length
9
So Young
W P Mullins
D J Casey
11st 10lbs
16 - 1
21 lengths
10
Five Dream
P F Nicholls
Ryan Mahon
11st 10lbs
100 - 1
49 lengths
PulledUp
Mikael D'Haguenet
W P Mullins
D J Condon
11st 10lbs
50 - 1
Non Runner
Carlito Brigante
G Elliott
D N Russell
11st 10lbs
-
Non Runner
King Of The Night
P F Nicholls
Non Runner
11st 10lbs
-
       

 

[more analysis]

 

LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE FACTS

1. The Ladbrokes World Hurdle is one of the youngest races at The Festival. Known as the Stayers’ Hurdle up to and including 2004, it was only introduced with its current race conditions in 1972. Before that, it was known as the Spa Hurdle.

2. The Ladbrokes World Hurdle has been run on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the meeting. It moved to its current Thursday slot in 1993.

3. Its first year of sponsorship was 1972, under the title of the Lloyds Bank Hurdle. There have been four sponsors of the race, Waterford Crystal from 1978 to 1990 and Bonusprint from 1991 to 2004. 2005 was the first year of Ladbrokes’ sponsorship and prize money currently stands at £260,000.

4. The Ladbrokes World Hurdle used to be a favourite with the Irish, who have won it nine times, most recently in 1995 with Dorans Pride. Baracouda provided a first success for France in 2002 and followed up in 2003. In 2004 and 2005, he was runner-up behind Iris’s Gift and Inglis Drever respectively, while in 2006 he ran fifth behind My Way De Solzen. Baracouda’s trainer Francois Doumen also saddled Kasbah Bliss to finish second in 2008 and fourth in 2009.

5. In 2011, Big Buck’s created history by becoming the first horse to win the race three times in succession. Inglis Drever is the only over horse to win the contest three times. He was successful in 2005, but missed the 2006 race due to injury before returning to land both the 2007 and 2008 renewals. There have been three dual winners - Crimson Embers (1982 & 1986), Galmoy (1987 & 1988), and Baracouda (2002 & 2003).

6. Paul Nicholls (trainer of Big Buck’s), Howard Johnson (trainer of Inglis Drever) and the late Fulke Walwyn - with three wins apiece - are the only trainers to have won the contest more than twice. The race was dominated in the mid-1980s by Crimson Embers, trained by Walwyn, and the winner in 1982 and 1986. Indeed, Crimson Embers would have been awarded the race in the stewards’ room in 1985 had his rider not declined to give evidence to the enquiry afterwards, but the trainer won the race anyway with Rose Ravine. The owner, Sally Smart, was ambivalent about the result - she owned both horses!

7. Gaye Chance, the winner in 1984, was a full-brother to the 1983 Champion Hurdle winner Gaye Brief. Both horses were trained by Mercy Rimell.

8. No horse has managed to win both the Stan James Champion Hurdle and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. 9. A total of 13 favourites have been successful.

10. The smallest field to go to post was eight in 1973, while the largest was 22 in both 1985 and 1990. The current safety limit is 24.

11. Tommy Carberry, Stuart Shilston, Tommy Carmody, Mark Perrett, Charlie Swan, Jamie Osborne and Thierry Doumen each recorded two victories, while Ruby Walsh is the most successful jockey in the race following his three victories on Big Buck’s in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The three-time winner Inglis Drever was partnered by different jockeys for each of his victories – Graham Lee (2005), Paddy Brennan (2007) and Denis O’Regan (2008).

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