A lack of positivity from Daryl Jacob about riding Big Buck’s on his intended comeback in the Cleeve Hurdle led to other options being explored for the ride on the staying great, trainer Paul Nicholls said.
It was revealed at the weekend that Sam Twiston-Davies would partner the four-times Ladbrokes World Hurdle hero when the Andy Stewart-owned 11-year-old returns from an absence of over a year at Cheltenham on 25 January and will keep the ride at the Festival in March.
Big Buck’s is unbeaten in 18 races since reverting to hurdling but Nicholls said Jacob viewed taking the ride as “something of a poisoned chalice”, one that would leave him in a “no-win” situation.
Nicholls said: “The big question for me was how keen was Daryl to ride the horse? Daryl has never given me the impression that he was mad keen to ride Big Buck’s.”