‘He basically laughed at the opposition’: Harry Skelton reveals the horse he wishes he could have ridden

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    Harry Skelton has crafted an impressive career in the saddle, counting more than 1,000 winners to date, and while the 2021 British champion was regularly surrounded by stable stars while he spent his early years working for trainer Paul Nicholls, there was one who stood out.

    “At the time I was at Paul’s, he had Kauto Star, Denman and Masterminded, but the horse I would have loved to have raced was Big Buck’s. He just had so much ability, he always seemed to have five pounds up his sleeve, be that on the track or at home. You’d never get to the bottom of him, he always had a bit left in reserve,” says Harry.

    Known as one of the greatest hurdlers of all time, Big Buck’s made history when he won his fourth consecutive World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2012 with the great Ruby Walsh. The race was Big Buck’s’ 16th victory in a row.

    Big Buck’s The 2012 John Smith's Grand National - Day One - Aintree Racecourse

    Big Buck’s at Aintree in 2012

    “Things could go wrong and he’d still win – he was a very difficult horse to beat, he basically laughed at the opposition,” remembers Harry Skelton.

    “He had a big pair of ears on him and he was a really honest-looking horse. As a young lad, I was lucky enough to ride him at home a couple of times and once rode on the gallops when I was a conditional for Paul – but that was the closest I got to him on a racecourse.”

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