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Big Buck's all set for comeback

PAUL Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davies both expressed their satisfaction as the eagerly-anticipated return to action of Big Buck's moved a step closer after the staying great came through a schooling session in the hands of his new jockey.

Now an 11-year-old, Big Buck's is due to reappear in the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday, which has been reopened as the minimum 10 entries were not received.

With Ruby Walsh leaving his role as stable jockey to Nicholls at Ditcheat, Big Buck's was always going to have a new partner on his return from injury and the trainer and owner Andy Stewart plumped for Twiston-Davies last week.

Twiston-Davies was at Nicholls' Somerset base to pop the four-time Ladbrokes World Hurdle winner over a few obstacles before he makes his comeback following 14 months off the track.

"It all went well, no problems at all," said Nicholls. "It was just a routine school, we would do it at the start of the week before any run of his life. He jumped well and did what we expected. Sam was pleased with him."

Twiston-Davies reiterated that he views himself as being in a "very lucky position".

He said: "He felt in great order, it was my first time schooling down at Paul's, I'd been in on Friday to give him three steady canters but I jumped him today and it all went very smoothly, he jumped brilliantly.

"Obviously, if he retains his ability, which I'm sure he does, he's going to be very hard to beat."

Meanwhile, David Pipe's expensive French purchase Un Temps Pour Tout is likely to step up in trip next time out after finishing second on his British debut at Haydock on Saturday.

The £450,000 buy was beaten by Zamdy Man in a Grade Two trial for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, but Pipe was pleased with the effort and is taking much encouragement from the race being run in a quicker time than the Champion Hurdle Trial won by Melodic Rendezvous on the same card.



He said: "There had been much publicity prior to Un Temps Pour Tout's British debut in Grade Two company at Haydock.

"We will probably step him up in trip next time and I think you will see an even better horse then.

"Interestingly, looking at the times of our race compared to the Champion Hurdle Trial on the same card 30 minutes later, you will notice that the novices completed the course 1.6 seconds faster than their more experienced counterparts.

"Both Un Temps Pour Tout and Zamdy Man carried 11st 11lb while Melodic Rendezvous carried 11st 8lb to victory – I will leave you to draw your own conclusions on that, but needless to say we are still looking forward to running Un Temps Pour Tout at the Festival in March."