Big Buck's: will follow the same route Paul Nicholls mapped out last yearPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Buck's will go straight for World Hurdle - Nicholls
BIG BUCK'S, the odds-on favourite for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, will sidestep a bid for the Betfair Cleeve Hurdle and head straight to the Cheltenham Festival, trainer Paul Nicholls has revealed.
Nicholls on Tuesday said that he had opted to give the two-time World Hurdle winner a break before his attempt at a third consecutive win in the Grade 1 staying hurdlechampionship, for which he is a 4-7 shot.
The move reflects the campaign Nicholls mapped out for Big Buck's last year, who followed his win in the Long Walk Hurdle in December with victories at Cheltenham in March and Aintree in April.
The trainer said: "Andy [Stewart, owner] was quite keen to go straight to the Festival and we probably haven't got anything to gain by running him in the Cleeve so we will do what we did last year.
"I didn't want to prepare him to run in the Cleeve and then not run because the meeting was off or the ground was heavy."
Big Buck's won the Cleeve Hurdle in 2009 as part of his ten-run unbeaten sequence, which includes five Grade 1 wins.