Buck's set for Exeter gallop

Big Buck's is to take a crucial step ahead of his return from injury with a racecourse gallop at Exeter on Thursday.

The Paul Nicholls-trained 10-year-old has been sidelined since taking his winning streak over the small obstacles to 18 with a runaway victory in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury nearly 13 months ago.

Owner Andy Stewart's four-time Ladbrokes World Hurdle hero is likely to make his return to competitive action in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham in January, but will give racegoers a chance to assess his well being with a gallop at 12.15pm on Thursday.

The ultimate aim for the brilliant gelding is to try to win back his World Hurdle crown at the Festival in March, for which he is ante-post favourite at around 3/1.