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Big Buck’s new rider Lucy Tucker has told H&H the popular ex-racehorse has settled in well to his new life.

The former hurdling hero is embarking on a different kind of season this autumn as he takes to the hunting field.

The gelding — who won the World Hurdle at Cheltenham a record four times — was retired in March.

Trained by Paul Nicholls, he famously won 18 races in a row and he’s now enjoying trying a second career with Lucy.

“He’s awesome and very easy,” Lucy told H&H. “We took him out for the first time at the end of August but we wanted to keep it very much under the radar. We saw how much attention Denman got going out hunting so we didn’t want to overwhelm him.”

Lucy praised his behaviour.

“He was great and we hope to take him out a couple more times this season, just to see the hounds and learn what it’s all about,” she added.

And Big Buck’s, who was well-known for being a box walker, has settled into life with Lucy very well.

“He’s very sweet and an incredibly nice person,” she added. “He’s been very chilled out and hacks out perfectly.”

She added that the new relationship happened by chance.

“I jokingly said to Georgie [Nicholls, Paul’s wife] that I could do with a new horse. She said I could have him and that was that. Paul said I could just see how it goes.

“He’s almost like a four-year-old [even though he’s 11] as he’s got so much to learn, but he’s very straightforward. He’s obviously sharp, like any thoroughbred, but he’s like Bambi — all spindly legs.

“I feel very privileged. The other day were were cantering and I had little girl moment — ‘I’m on Big Buck’s!’. I’m looking forward to going out hunting again.”

To read more about popular racehorses’ lives after racing don’t miss our “where are they now?” feature in the National Hunt special, out on Thursday 6 November.