A TOTAL of just 16 possible rivals stand between Big Buck’s and a record fourth successive victory in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham following the latest declarations.
The main rival to Big Buck’s, who will also be seeking a record-equalling 16th straight victory when he lines up for Thursday’s feature, appears to be the Nicky Henderson-trained Oscar Whisky.
He was placed in the Champion Hurdle last year but has made a seamless switch to the longer trip this term, although this will be his first try at three miles.
David Pipe’s Dynaste has chased home Big Buck’s on his last two starts and he tries his luck once again while Willie Mullins has a strong team headed by Zaidpour, who is unbeaten in four starts this term.
Meanwhile Albertas Run will face a maximum of 16 rivals as he bids to win the Ryanair Chase for the third successive season at Cheltenham on Thursday.
Captain Chris and Noble Prince were other Festival winners last year who could line up while Ferdy Murphy’s Kalahari King, plus Forpadydeplasterer, Poquelin and the Henrietta Knight-trained Somersby are Cheltenham regulars.