By some way the leading staying hurdler of his generation, BIG BUCK'S is impossible to oppose on his reappearance in the Long Distance Hurdle and the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding can take this prior to another crack at the World Hurdle in March. Formerly with Venetia Williams but now trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, Kayf Aramis is not as good as he once was but is still capable of fair form and has to be considered following an encouraging reappearance at Wetherby, although a bigger danger and more likely bet for the forecast looks to be Duc De Regniere. Nicky Henderson's gelding is less exposed than most of these but needs to improve on what he showed at Wetherby to reverse running with Kayf Aramis.
Big Buck's (FR) 3-10fav (11-7) Held up in touch, headway to chase leaders approaching 3 out, went 2nd 2 out, led approaching last, always in command on flat, pushed out, won at Aintree 3m hdl G1 (1) gd in Apr beating Souffleur (11-7) by 2 3/4l, 7 ran.
Arcalis 8-1 (11-0) Mid-division, pushed along after 4 out, soon outpaced, no impression, 6th of 23, 10l behind Eradicate (10-1) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl G3 (1) gd in May.
Duc De Regniere (FR) 9-4fav (11-0) Mid-division, not fluent 5th, headway when not fluent 8th, went 3rd 3 out, mistake and weakened next, 4th of 8, 13l behind Fair Along (11-8) at Wetherby 3m 1f hdl G2 (1) gd in Oct.
Duke Of Lucca (IRE) 5-1fav (11-12) Held up towards rear, mistake 5th, lost place from 5 out, tailed off, 10th of 13, well behind Any Given Day (10-8) at Chepstow 2m 4f Listed hcp hdl (1) sft in Oct.
Kayf Aramis 11-2 (11-0) Chased leaders, progess to close on winner approaching 3 out, switched right after 2 out, stayed on flat, always behind held, 2nd of 8, 1 1/4l behind Fair Along (11-8) at Wetherby 3m 1f hdl G2 (1) gd in Oct.
Spider Boy 9-2 (10-0) Held up in last pair, rapid headway to join leaders before 2nd, weakened after next, well held 5th and no chance when mistake 2 out, 4th of 8, 21l behind Minnie Hill (11-8) at Exeter 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) hvy.