Paul Nicholls feels Big Buck's has "four or five more runs" in him despite being currently sidelined by a leg injury.
The four-time Ladbrokes World Hurdle hero, winner of his last 18 races over timber, was ruled out for the season earlier this week but the champion trainer insists he will be back - and at his best - next year.
"He's had a lot of runs, I think he ran nine times in France before we bought him so he has a lot of mileage on the clock. It's a very, very minor injury and in my view there are four or five runs left in him before the end of his career whatever happens," the trainer told At The Races.
"If we'd tried to patch him up now and go to Cheltenham, and he went and got more of an injury that would be the end of us. We'll get him right, come back this time next year and he'll probably have four or five runs at the top of his game still. He'll definitely be back."