Monday, October 31, 2011

Big Bucks set for comeback

Three-time Cheltenham World Hurdle winner Big Bucks is likely to return to action this season in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, on the same came as the Hennessy Gold Cup from the Berkshire racecourse.

The Paul Nicholls-trained runner has been many people’s banker of the Cheltenham festival in recent seasons, and it is the World Hurdle once again that connections are aiming for this time around with their star eight-year old. People looking for Cheltenham betting tips should remember this.

Last season Grand Crus established himself as a serious rival to the French-bred horse, but Big Bucks relished the challenged and defeated the younger rival twice, first at Cheltenham and then at Aintree a month later in April.

For the past two campaigns, the Stewart family-owned horse has ran just four times. Following the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, he is kept until near the end of the year for Grade One Long Walk Hurdle at the same track. We would be unlikely to then see the great staying hurdler until the Cheltenham festival 2012.

The feature race of the meeting on the Thursday of the Cheltenham festival is expected to see Grand Crus try to take on Big Bucks once again. However, there is likely to be the inclusion of Oscar Whisky this year. The six-year old ran in the Champion Hurdle last season but support has come for the Nicky Henderson-trained runner for the World Hurdle, suggesting the longer distance route is going to be tried this season with the horse.

Thousand Stars could follow suit with Oscar Whisky by joining him in the race in 2012. Willie Mullins- runner was a surprise fourth in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham earlier in March. He proved he is capable of winning at the World Hurdle trip when scoring at Auteil on his latest run under Ruby Walsh.

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