Big Buck's looks set to be the star of day one of the Aintree Festival when he bids for a world record 17th consecutive win over hurdles in the Liverpool Hurdle on Thursday. StanJames.com spokesman Rory Jiwani says, "Big Buck's is 1/5 to make it 17-in-a-row at the track where he put in probably his most dominant display 12 months ago in brushing aside Grands Crus. Andy Stewart's superstar just keeps on winning and the opposition is far weaker than he faced at Cheltenham a month ago.
"Alan King's Smad Place is his nearest rival in the betting at 5/1 and it's 16/1 bar. In the market without Big Buck's, Smad Place is 6/5 with Poungach and Tidal Bay both 4/1 for the trainer of Big Buck's, Paul Nicholls.
"The other highlight of Thursday is the Betfred Bowl with Nicky Henderson's Ryanair Chase winner Riverside Theatre heading the betting at 100/30. Stablemate Burton Port is 7/2 with Medermit 5/1 and handicap sensation Hunt Ball an 11/2 shot. Keiran Burke's seven-year-old, owned by Anthony Knott, started the season with a mark of 69 and went on to win the Pulteney Novices' Handicap Chase at Cheltenham off a mark of 142. This is his first tilt at the big boys and he has a stone to find on official ratings with Riverside Theatre."
Liverpool Hurdle (EW 1/5 1,2,3): 1/5 Big Buck's 5 Smad Place 16 Poungach 18 Tidal Bay 25 Restless Harry 40 Crack Away Jack 50 Won In The Dark 100 Across The Bay
Liverpool Hurdle w/o Big Buck's: 6/5 Smad Place 4 Poungach, Tidal Bay 6 Restless Harry 12 Crack Away Jack 25 Won In The Dark 33 Across The Bay
Betfred Bowl (EW 1/5 1,2,3): 10/3 Riverside Theatre 7/2 Burton Port 5 Medermit 11/2 Hunt Ball 8 What A Friend 10 Nacarat 12 Master Of The Hall 20 Diamond Harry 25 Carruthers 33 Follow The Plan 40 Roberto Goldback