BIG BUCK’S WON the World Hurdle for the fourth time in a row at the Cheltenham Festival today.
Ruby Walsh rode the champion horse to victory in a thrilling finish as Voler La Vedette pushed it all the way.
“He sprinted off the bend and I guess with the way some of our horses were running they were starting to doubt, but they were foolish to doubt this fella,” Walsh told Channel Four after the race.
Trainer of Big Buck’s, Paul Nicholls, was also delighted. ”He is a fantastic horse. He was in front a long way but he just keeps on galloping,” Nicholls said. The French horse was a short-priced favourite and never looked in doubt after a bright start to the three-mile race. He was hurdling superbly and the others were struggling to keep up, and when Walsh got Big Buck’s to kick, it looked like there would be only one winner.
But Voler La Vedette found some late energy and challenged Big Buck’s, before swapping to the outside in an exciting sprint finish. Big Buck’s knows how to win races, however, and Walsh did enough to ensure the champion would hold on.
Another French horse, Smad Place, was third.