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Andy Stewart celebrates Big Buck’s by sponsoring opening Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree’s Randox Health Grand National Festival

Leading Jump owner Andy Stewart is to sponsor at the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival by supporting the first race of Aintree’s three-day meeting on Grand National Thursday, April 12.

The £100,000 G1 Big Buck’s Celebration Manifesto Novices’ Chase is staged over two and a half miles on the Mildmay Course and now recognises the outstanding staying hurdler Big Buck’s.

Big Buck’s won a record 18 consecutive races over hurdles between January, 2009 and December, 2012. No less than 10 of those victories came at G1 level and included a record four wins of the G1 Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham plus a record four consecutive successes at Aintree in the race now known as the Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle (2009 to 2012 inclusive – a G1 contest from 2010 onwards).

Big Buck’s was also successful over fences at Aintree earlier in his career, landing the G2 Mildmay Novices’ Chase in 2008.

The horse retired from racing in 2014 with 23 wins from 40 starts and prize money earnings of £1.3m.

The 15-year-old still enjoys a day’s hunting with Lucy Felton and the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale, as well as accompanying her children and their ponies on rides.

Andy Stewart said “I am delighted to support this excellent race at Aintree to recognise the wonderful achievements of Big Buck’s.

“I love visiting Aintree and have had some great days there.

“It is wonderful that the old horse is still fit and well and is currently thoroughly enjoying life with Lucy Felton.”

John Baker, North West Director, Jockey Club Racecourses, added: “Andy is a regular at Aintree and we are absolutely thrilled that he has chosen to honour Big Buck’s in this way.

“Andy’s son Paul advised us recently on disabled facilities at Aintree and we thank him massively for that.

“We look forward to welcoming Andy and his guests to the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival.”

First staged in 2009, the Big Buck’s Celebration Manifesto Novices’ Chase takes place over two and a half miles and boasts an outstanding roll of honour.

Initially a G2 contest, the Big Buck’s Celebration Manifesto Novices’ Chase was upgraded to G1 level ahead of the 2012 renewal.

The best winners of the race include Uxizandre (2014), who went on to the land the G1 Ryaniar Chase at the Cheltenham Festival the following season and multiple G2-winning chaser Menorah (2012).

Big Buck’s at Aintree


Grand Opening Day – Thursday, April 12, 2018

Time Race       Distance      Prize Money

1.45pm Big Buck’s Manifesto Celebration Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f  £100,000

2.20pm Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)  2m 1f  £100,000

2.50pm Betway Bowl Chase (Grade 1)      3m 1f  £190,000

3.25pm Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)    2m 4f  £250,000

4.05pm Randox Health Foxhunters’ Chase    2m 5f  £45,000

4.40pm Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3)    2m  £90,000

5.15pm Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Grade 2) 2m 1f £45,000


TOTAL £820,000

Ladies Day – Friday, April 13, 2018

Time Race       Distance      Prize Money

1.45pm Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)    2m 4f  £75,000

2.20pm Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)    2m ½f £100,000

2.50pm Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)    3m 1f  £100,000

3.25pm JLT Melling Chase (Grade 1)      2m 4f  £250,000

4.05pm Randox Health Topham Chase (Grade 3)    2m 5f  £140,000

4.40pm Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)    3m ½f  £100,000

5.15pm Weatherbys Private Bank Standard Open NH Flat Race (Grade 2) 2m 1f £45,000

TOTAL £810,000

Grand National Day – Saturday, April 14, 2018

Time Race       Distance       Prize Money

1.45pm Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)    3m ½f  £75,000

2.25pm Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)    2m 4f  £100,000

3.00pm Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)    2m  £100,000

3.40pm Betway Handicap Chase (Listed)    3m 1f  £75,000

4.20pm Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)    3m ½f  £180,000

5.15pm Randox Health Grand National (Grade 3)    4m 2½f £1,000,000

6.20pm Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle (Conditional & Amateur Jockeys) 2m ½f £50,000

TOTAL £1,580,000

MEETING TOTAL £3,210,000