Buck's on course for Cleeve
Monday morning saw the eagerly-anticipated return to action of Big Buck's move a step closer after the staying great came through a schooling session in the hands of new jockey Sam Twiston-Davies.
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Now an 11-year-old, Big Buck's is due to reappear in the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday, which has been reopened as the minimum 10 entries were not received.
With Ruby Walsh leaving his role as stable jockey to Paul Nicholls at Ditcheat, Big Buck's was always going to have a new partner on his return from injury and the trainer and owner Andy Stewart plumped for Twiston-Davies last week.
Twiston-Davies was at Ditcheat to pop the four-time Ladbrokes World Hurdle winner over a few obstacles before he makes his comeback following 14 months off the track.
"It all went well, no problems at all," said Nicholls. "It was just a routine school, we would do it at the start of the week before any run of his life. He jumped well and did what we expected. Sam was pleased with him."
Twiston-Davies could not have been happier with the way things went, and reiterated that he views himself as being in a "very lucky position".
He told Betfred TV: "He felt in great order, it was my first time schooling down at Paul's, I'd been in on Friday to give him three steady canters but I jumped him today and it all went very smoothly, he jumped brilliantly.
"I took him for a canter afterwards and he felt great. It's effortless for him, he finds it all very easy, going round the school, going up the gallop, it's all just in his stride.
"He's never under any pressure because he just has that engine. He's an unbelievable horse and he's very exciting, well it is for me and I'm in a very lucky position.
"Obviously, if he retains his ability, which I'm sure he does, he's going to be very hard to beat."