04/10/2012 1:00PM

England: Big Buck's goes after record in Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree


Big Buck’s can break a 60-year record for most consecutive wins by a National Hunt horse in England when he starts as a heavy favorite in Thursday’s Grade 1 Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool.

The Liverpool Hurdle is one of the top races on the first day of a three-day meeting highlighted by Saturday’s world-famous Grand National, run over four miles and four furlongs over fences.

The Liverpool Hurdle is run over three miles over smaller, easier obstacles.

Big Buck’s, a 9-year-old gelding, is part of a field of eight. Trained by Paul Nicholls, Big Buck’s will be ridden by Ruby Walsh. Big Buck’s is unbeaten since he unseated his rider in the Hennessy Gold Cup over fences in November 2008.

The current winning streak began on Jan. 1, 2009. The most recent win came in the Grade 1 World Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse in March 15. If Big Buck’s wins the Liverpool Hurdle, he will surpass the 16-race winning streak set by the hurdler Sir Ken from 1951-1953.

Big Buck’s was 1-4 to win the Liverpool Hurdle on Tuesday. Smad Place, third in the World Hurdle, is considered his biggest threat.

Synchronised, the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 16, was the 6-1 favorite on Tuesday to win the Grand National. A 9-year-old gelding, Synchronised could become the first horse to win the Gold Cup and Grand National in the same year since Golden Miller in 1934.