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Big Buck's fine after racecourse gallop at Exeter

Last Updated: 20/12/13 12:33pm

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Big Buck's (near side): All okay after gallop

Big Buck's (near side): All okay after gallop

Sky Bet

Trainer Paul Nicholls reports Big Buck's in good shape the morning after his pleasing racecourse gallop at Exeter.

The four-times World Hurdle hero, who is unbeaten in his last 18 races, had not been seen in competitive action since making a winning reappearance at Newbury in the Long Distance Hurdle in December last year.

Owner Andy Stewart's star was found to be suffering from a leg injury later that month.

However, he left his trainer "really thrilled" after a workout under Daryl Jacob on Thursday and remains on course to make his comeback in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham next month.

Nicholls said: "I've had him pretty fit as he has done lots of preparatory work, it was just a matter of getting him back on to a racecourse and that was his first bit on grass.

"Our plan was to go for the Cleeve Hurdle ahead of the World Hurdle and then possibly take in Aintree in the spring. To be quite honest he looks as good as new, and when you consider the likes of Tidal Bay and Kauto Star he is still a young horse and there is no reason he won't be as good as he's ever been.

"With any horse who has had the problems he's had, you take it day by day. It was the same injury that Al Ferof sustained and he has come back at the top level."

Nicholls added: "There will be another gallop, either here or at Wincanton, before he runs in the Cleeve."

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