RACING: Twiston-Davies primed for Big Buck's return at Cheltenham

Sam Twiston-Davies

Sam Twiston-Davies

First published in Sport

SAM TWISTON-DAVIES insists he will treat the ride on Big Buck's no differently to any other as the record-breaking staying hurdler makes his return from more than a year's absence at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Trainer Paul Nicholls and owner Andy Stewart revealed earlier this month that Naunton-based Twiston-Davies, the rising star of the weighing room, would partner the 11-year-old in the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle before they bid for an unprecedented fifth Ladbrokes World Hurdle back at the course in March.

Big Buck's has been away for 420 days, missing the last Festival as he recovered from a tendon injury, and will have anything but a soft introduction with dual Long Walk winner Reve De Sivola, Willie Mullins' Boston Bob and last season's top novice At Fishers Cross among his five declared rivals.

"If you just go and do what you normally do, then hopefully things will go right," said Twiston-Davies. "Big Buck's is a very, very exciting horse and I am a very lucky guy. He just finds everything very easy.

"Everything for him is very, very easy. It is all in his stride – he is never out of breath or doing anything that is too strenuous. He just has that engine - he is a top horse."

Nicholls managed to fit a racecourse gallop into Big Buck's at Exeter in mid-December and has given the star plenty of exercise as he looks to take his unsurpassed jumping winning streak to 19.

"He's been an amazing horse – he’s won 18 hurdles races on the trot," the trainer told Betfair.

"He's had a nice, long preparation and has done lots and lots of hard work. He's as fit as I can possibly get him without a run.

"If I had had my way I'd probably liked to have given him another racecourse gallop, but we haven't been able to because of the ground.”

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