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Horse racing at Cheltenham – Big Buck’s wins World Hurdle for record fourth time

  Friday 16th March 2012

Day 3 at Cheltenham 2012

1.30 – JEWSON NOVICES’ CHASE

Willie Mullins celebrated St Patrick’s Thursday in style as Sir Des Champs blazed a trail in the opener. The 3/1 shot rallied gamely to beat Champion Court up the Cheltenham hill. Jockey, Davy Russell produced a well timed jump at the last to send Sir Des Champs clear, eventually winning by four lengths.

2.05 – PERTEMPS FINAL HANDICAP HURDLE

Denis O’Regan produced Cape Tribulation with a ‘double handful’ approaching the last. The jockey gave the 14-1 chance a peach of a ride; he was all over his rivals approaching the last, quickened clear and won at a canter. Catch Me was the silver medalist, while bronze went to Caplow.

2.40 – RYANAIR CHASE

Actor James Nesbitt, thankfully, was speechless after his horse Riverside Theatre claimed the Ryanair Chase. Riverside Theatre battled and scrubbed all the way to the line, giving the potent Barry Geraghty/Nicky Henderson combination yet another winner. AP’s mount, Albertas Run looked as if the race was his for the third year in a row; but Riverside Theatre never gave up, running out a half a length winner. Medermit was a further half a length back in third.

3.15 – LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE

Big Buck’s equalled the record for consecutive victories over jumps, bringing him level with Sir Ken’s 16 triumphs, set in the 1950s.

Big Buck’s justified his short price (5-6 favourite), but it didn’t look like a smooth ride. Walsh was always up with the leaders aboard Big Bucks, travelling well with three hurdles to jump; however, Voler La Vedette looked a real danger jumping the last hurdle, but found virtually nothing off the bridal as Big Buck’s ran away up the hill.

4.00 – BYRNE GROUP PLATE

David Pipe’s Salut Flo bolted up under Tom Scudamore to claim the Byrne Group Plate by six lengths; Salut was given good a perfect front-running ride by Scudamore, dominating the race from start to finish. The minor places were filled by the resolute Cockney Mackem and the beautifully named, Glam Gerry.

4.40 - FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR HANDICAP CHASE

Jockey Alan Berry gave Sunnyhillboy a well-judged ride to land the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase; taking up the lead at the final fence, the 13/2 chance quickened clear to win by four lengths. Becauseicouldntsee was a game second, while Exmoor Ranger and Up The Beat took third and fourth respectively.

Matthew O’Brien

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