Buck's takes direct route
Owner Andy Stewart has revealed his legendary staying hurdler Big Buck's will not run again between now and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at next year's Cheltenham Festival.
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The Paul Nicholls-trained 10-year-old has won the staying hurdle title for the last four years, but a new champion will be crowned at Prestbury Park next week after Big Buck's suffered a season-ending injury in mid-December.
While he could theoretically return to racecourse action early next season, and talk had been of the Long Walk at the Hennessy meeting, connections have decided Big Buck's will not take to the racecourse again between now and next March.
"We're not going to come back at Newbury (in November), we're going to go straight to the World Hurdle next year and if he doesn't like it, or doesn't get there, he'll be retired," Stewart told Racing UK.
"He could run at Newbury's Hennessy meeting or we could go for the Long Walk or we could run in the Cleeve Hurdle, but we're not going to do that.
"Paul and I have decided today, having spoken to Ruby (Walsh), we're going to go straight for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle in 2014."