Paul Nicholls has given Big Buck's an entry in a Haydock handicap hurdle as he plots his star stayer's return to action.
The nine-year-old has made his seasonal bow in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury for the last three years, winning on each occasion, and that December 1 event remains a possible target.
However, the Ditcheat handler has also entered Big Buck's for a richly endowed handicap contest the week before, although he underlined this is merely an option rather than his intended target.
He told his Betfair column: "I can reveal that Big Buck's has been given an entry in the Betfair Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle on Betfair Chase day.
"It is a very valuable race, worth more than the Newbury race that is normally his reappearance, but money isn't everything and we will do what is best for the horse. But, at this stage, Haydock is only a tentative entry for him, so don't get carried away yet."
Nicholls has added another star to his hurdling ranks as Aaim To Prosper, who won the Cesarewitch for a second time last month when trained by Brian Meehan, has joined the Ditcheat team.
The trainer said: "He became the first horse to win two Cesarewitches last month and, at 112, must be one of the highest-rated Flat horses to have joined us from that sphere, maybe similar to Celestial Halo in ratings terms.
"The owners have Sidney Melbourne and Shooters Wood with me, and have kindly sent me him. He clearly is an exciting hurdling prospect."
He added: "Plans are fluid for my Charlie Hall winner Silviniaco Conti, but he is one of my Betfair Chase entries - along with Tidal Bay, Al Ferof and Cristal Bonus - and is in the King George, too. My Down Royal winner Kauto Stone goes straight for Kempton. We will keep him fresh and well for that.
"And my other Down Royal winner Cristal Bonus may go back to Ireland for the John Durkan on December 9. Tidal Bay won well over hurdles at Wetherby and at the moment I am leaning towards the Hennessy for him, but we will see."
20 December 2014Henderson pleased with big guns
Mulholland serves up Master-class
Bayan bags big Ascot prize
Broadway proves a show-stopper
Three Long Walks for super Sivola
Queen wears Listed crown
Nicholls strikes with Saint
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Silvi the star turn in King George
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Geraghty enthused by Bobs work
Walsh pain at Vautour defection
Billy puffing his chest out again
Master back in the spotlight
Grugy in line to start cantering
Newland seeks more from Re
Prize money boost in HRI initiative
Zig zips to impressive victory
New steroids policy delayed
Serge states Supreme case
Exciting Sceaux out at Fairyhouse
Firebird skips National service
19 December 2014Martin readying big guns
Hobbs on Garde at Ascot
Fry excited by Activial chance
The New One in Haydock return
Reve camp not expecting a hat-trick
King issues Chatez Triumph warning
Bolger searching for Mossey key
King weighs up Karezak options
Henderson hoping Bobs makes Lexus
Simonsig camp play the long game
In-form Mole buries Exeter rivals
Sedgefield hit with heavy fine
Star names check in for Ryanair
Bobs revved up for Lexus repeat
Knott disqualified for three years
Geraghty braced for power Serge
Geraghty excited by Josses return
Activial stars in Ladbroke field
18 December 2014Alvarado back for National service
Winner given Lexus go-ahead
Cheltenham dreams for King's Zero
Sivola bids for Long Walk hat-trick
Power plan uncertain for Westener
Kauto pleases in Olympia display
Mullins eyes twin assault on Lexus
Value oozes class in Newbury romp
Annie Power on road to recovery
Spencer strikes after U-turn
Vautour ready for next jumps test
Mullins banks on Faugheen progress
Victory set to skip Ladbroke
Mullins: Fever can go the distance
17 December 2014Sidelined Brian misses Whittle
Sceaux to sidestep Haydock raid
Square season derailed by injury
Lexus a non-starter for Clouds
Europe return hinges on ground
Injury woe for Cookson
Plans on hold for Topper
Appeal success for Russell/Enright
Mulholland makes Master plan
Cango makes Catterick impression
Field sizes under BHA microscope
Quinn outlines Aurore options
Legal laying down the law at Ludlow
Ground dictates Attaglance plans
King heartened by Walkon return
Cross set Christmas conundrum