Big Buck’s created history by winning his third straight Ladbrokes World Hurdle under Ruby Walsh.
In what was by far the biggest battle he has faced, Walsh decided to keep his mount close to the pace in a change in tactics to previous years.
Tom Scudamore played the waiting game on his big market rival Grands Crus and Big Buck’s (10-11 favourite) jumped the last with a one-length advantage.
The gap narrowed halfway up the running, but Grands Crus began to flatten out inside the final 100 yards as the Paul Nicholls-trained stayer retained his crown by a length and three-quarters.
Big Buck’s becomes the first horse ever to win the race for a third consecutive year.
Cross Kennon took the field along through the early stages but they were not going a serious pace.
Walsh was in the right position, however, as he was never more than two lengths off the speed.
Cross Kennon was still in front turning into the straight, but Walsh was the first to commit on Big Buck’s.
Fiveforthree and Mourad also briefly looked dangerous but it was Grands Crus who emerged as his biggest danger - only for Big Buck’s to find more up the hill.
Mourad took the minor honours in third, another two and three-quarter lengths away from the undisputed champion.