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Big Buck’s registered a record-equalling 13th successive victory as he cruised home in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

Paul Nicholls’ charge matched the mark set by Bula as he triumphed for the third time in the race as the 1-8 favourite.

Big Buck’s coasted home by five lengths from stablemate Five Dream, who plugged on admirably.

Winning owner Andy Stewart was relieved to see his star performer maintain his brilliant record.

“I was more nervous today than I think I’ve ever been in my life, especially as I kept getting text messages from people saying ‘unlucky, it’s 13’ and things like that,” Stewart said.

“It was lovely to see him do that and it’s great for racing.

“He will now go to Ascot for the Long Walk and then hopefully to Cheltenham for a fourth Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

“We’ve no intention to go chasing at the moment but after he finishes his season at Aintree, we will have a discussion but there are a lot of good chasers around at the moment.”

Nicholls said Big Buck’s was simply the best hurdler around.

“He pulls himself up and does just enough. If he does that he will last, as he is never going to do too much,” he said.

“He’s got more speed than the rest, he stays better than the rest and he’s just better than the rest, it’s as simple as that.”

Big Buck’s was the third winner of the day for Nicholls and Walsh as Prospect Wells (1-2 favourite) and Rock On Ruby (7-2) had emerged victorious in earlier heats.

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