Big Buck's: has options of making his return at Newbury or HaydockPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/pictures)
Big Buck's has Haydock option after Exeter gallop
BIG BUCK'S will have to give away 26lb and more to his rivals if he lines up in the Betfair-sponsored Fixed Brush Hurdle at Haydock on November 24.
The 174-rated four-time World Hurdle winner has been allotted a weight of 11st 12lb for the 3m contest, one of two options he has for his seasonal return.
Big Buck's had a racecourse gallop in company with stablemate Cedre Bleu before racing at Exeter on Wednesday after which trainer Paul Nicholls said: "It will tighten him up. We did the same last year and it does not do them any harm.
"Whatever he works with he just cruises along and does it nicely. He had a nice lob around and he is looking fantastic this year."
Talking about the options open to Big Buck's, Nicholls continued: "At Haydock he would be the only horse in the handicap proper. It is a a very valuable race and it is an option as well as Newbury. I am meeting his owner Andy Stewart at Cheltenham on Friday and we will make up our mind."
Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby is among 14 horses entered for the Grade 1 Stan James.com Fighting Fifth at Newcastle on December 1. He could face Cinders And Ashes, Go Native, Darlan and Countrywide Flame.
Newbury's Hennessy Gold Cup is on the same day as the Fighting Fifth and Burton Port and Tidal Bay have been given top weight of 11st 12lb for the prestigious handicap. Ante-post favourite Bobs Worth is on 11st 6lb with Grands Crus on 11st 3lb.