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Big Buck's Set for Long Distance Hurdle


The Ditcheat team has certainly got things off to a roaring start in the 2011/12 National Hunt season with a pair of Grade 1 scores last weekend. Master Minded secured a high-profile victory at Ascot while Kauto Star produced a few moments of pure magic by conquering last year's Gold Cup winner, the heavily favoured Long Run, in the Betfair Chase.


The Long Distance Hurdle is set to unfold this weekend at Newbury and one of the National Hunt's other consistent superstar's is ready for a seasonal debut as Big Buck's will be seeking his 13th score on the bounce.

The Grade 2 contest will likely see five or six rivals attempt to derail Big Buck's bid for greatness. In fact, Paul Nicholls is confident that only stablemate Five Dreams is capable of even challenging Big Buck's, who hasn't lost a hurdles contest since a 2007 race at Auteil in his second year on the circuit.

The eight-year-old son of Cadoudal looks like he'll finally be set for millionaire status if he opens this season with as much precision as he's demonstrated in recent years.

Most punters are expecting Big Buck's to deploy a nearly identical campaign to last year with four runs culminating in a crescendo during festival season – he really is looking an unbeatable horse over long distance hurdles contests.

Five Dream is on his third start of the year and looked very progressive last time out in a Pertemps Final series qualifier. He finished second when sent off at 22/1 and will likely come on a bit despite not having won since 2009 in a novice hurdle.

Indian Pipe Dream carried a very low weight but didn't look up to it on his seasonal debut at Southwell a few weeks back. He was out for a few chases last season and strung together a few wins – it will be interesting to see if he goes to the front at the start.  

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