• Horse Racing

Big Buck's to return at Newbury

ESPN staff
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Big Buck's has proved in a league of his own over hurdles © PA Photos
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Big Buck's will make his seasonal debut at Newbury, as opposed to a possible return at Haydock.

In the previous three seasons, four-time World Hurdle winner Big Buck's made his return at Newbury in the Long Distance Hurdle so eyebrows were raised when he was handed an entry in the Betfair Fixed Brush Hurdle at Haydock.

The lure of Haydock was the huge pot on offer, but trainer Paul Nicholls and owner Andy Stewart have elected to go with the tried-and-trusted option.

"We have decided to go down the tried-and-trusted route with Big Buck's and he goes to Newbury later this month, as opposed to Haydock," Nicholls wrote in his Betfair column.

"The entry in the Fixed Brush Hurdle on Betfair Chase Day was only ever tentative, as I said at the time. In this game, you have to give yourselves options."

It would appear Nicholls and Stewart were at odds over the gelding's target, with the owner winning the argument.

Nicholls said: "I was half-tempted by Haydock but Andy was understandably keen to stick to Newbury, so we begged to differ to some extent.

"So it was Andy's call, and he bids for a fourth consecutive win in the race later this month."

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