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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Nicholls stars derailed by injuryHeadlines
Big Buck's

Trainer Paul Nicholls was dealt a huge double injury blow on Monday evening by the news Big Buck's and Al Ferof are set to miss the rest of the season.

The former was due to run in Saturday's Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, while Al Ferof was being prepared for an assault at the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Nicholls told Betfair: "At evening stables, we discovered a problem with both Big Buck's and Al Ferof. I am not in a position to go into great detail at this point, but I can confirm that Big Buck's will not be taking up his engagement at Ascot on Saturday and Al Ferof will not be running in the King George."

Big Buck's' owner Andy Stewart said the remarkable nine-year-old, who has won his last 18 races, has suffered a leg injury and would not defend his crown in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival next March.

He told Press Association Sport: "He didn't do it (sustain the injury) on the gallops. He was a little bit anxious in one of his legs at evening stables and after Clifford (Baker, Nicholls' head lad) and the vet inspected him, we decided to draw stumps. He'll not be running on Saturday and he won't be trying to win a fifth World Hurdle in March.

"I'm a little bit gutted, but no-one has died and the horse is perfectly well. When the horses come back in at the end of July we shall reassess the situation. If he hasn't got that zest and sparkle, he will be retired."

Al Ferof, a fine winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November, has damaged a tendon and will miss the rest of the season, said owner John Hales.

"We were all set for the King George, but things like this are part of the game. We don't know how he got the tendon injury, but that's him out for the season. We'll obviously get him reassessed by the vet, but you can bet your life the King George and then the Gold Cup will be the plan in 12 months' time.

"He's still a youngster and has age on his side."

Nicholls later tweeted neither Big Buck's nor Al Ferof had sustained career-threatening injuries and that they "both will be back".

3 December 2016

As De Mee gives owner Dame Judi Dench a winner over the National fences
Un De Sceaux just betters Sire De Grugy in Tingle Creek epic
National hero Many Clouds back in business at Aintree
Kempton the next stop as Altior bandwagon gathers pace at Sandown
Vieux Lion Rouge denies Highland Lodge repeat success in Becher thriller
Evening Hush makes big noise at Aintree
Cole Harden second on fencing debut as Its'afreebee comes out on top
BHA withdraws disciplinary charges against Martin Harley
Festival winner Martello Tower off the mark over fences at Fairyhouse
Unbeaten Airlie Beach seeking Grade One gold in Royal Bond
Triumph Hurdle favourite Landofhopeandglory faces Fairyhouse test
Vroum Vroum Mag revved up for Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse
Mouse Morris gives Alpha Des Obeaux a squeak in Fairyhouse Grade One
More Of That on recovery mission in Peterborough Chase
Precautionary inspection for Kelso Sunday fixture
Waitaki gives Pat Smullen a winning send off at Dundalk
Classy Messire Des Obeaux fires for Alan King at Sandown
The New One set to take on International Hurdle assignment
Faugheen earmarked for Christmas comeback
Oliver Sherwood 'very happy' as National winner Many Clouds returns to Aintree
Noel Fehily bowled over by Sandown-bound Altior
National king Mouse Morris on Aintree reconnaissance mission with Rogue Angel
Vroum Vroum Mag leads Hatton's Grace team for Willie Mullins
Ground poser as Un De Sceaux takes Tingle Creek test at Sandown
Henry de Bromhead has John Durkan target for Sub Lieutenant

2 December 2016

Joseph O'Brien claims Dundalk success for Qatar Racing
More Buck's in the money at Sandown
Classy Messire Des Obeaux fires for Alan King at Sandown
Alan King rules at Sandown with Messire Des Obeaux
Exeter Friday card falls victim to frost
No problems for day one of Tingle Creek meeting at Sandown
Crafty Roberto back to winning ways at Market Rasen
Highland Lodge geared up for Becher repeat
Hilly Way beckons for Douvan as Un De Sceaux picks up Tingle Creek gauntlet
Arctic Skipper angling for Lexus honours at Leopardstown
Tully East makes perfect start as Bachasson falters at Thurles
'Big day' for The New One as chasing bow beckons at Exeter
Coeur Blimey makes hurdling debut at Sandown for Sue Gardner
Trevor Whelan withdraws appeal against Leicester suspension
Native River to have light campaign before Gold Cup

1 December 2016

Precautionary inspection called for Sandown
Douvan gloom for ante-post punters as Un De Sceaux heads to Sandown
The Last Samuri spearheads Becher Chase charge at Aintree
Mouse Morris considers Cork return for Mozoltov
Exeter takes precautions against threat of frost
Frozen Wincanton abandons Thursday fixture
Ruby Walsh describes Douvan Tingle Creek price as 'crazy'
Brian Hughes booked for The Last Samuri in Becher test
Super Sam spearheads Deutsch double as Twiston-Davies is denied
Henry Brooke completes swift injury recovery with fourth place at Catterick
Brian Hughes ends notable November with Catterick glory
Sam Twiston-Davies second on Ffos Las return
Martin warns Heartbreak City 'more doubtful than likely' to run at Huntingdon
French stayer Alex De Larredya on track for Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot
Jim Crowley receives Scarlet Dragon call-up for Qatar mission

30 November 2016

David Bass set for swift return at Wincanton
HWPA anticipates 'friendly association' with ITV Racing
David Dennis ponders Cheltenham Gold run with Roman Flight
Who Dares Wins in frame for big Ascot handicap
Mouse Morris to chart Punchestown route with Smashing
Fergal O'Brien considers Haydock test for National hope Viva Steve
Wincanton on frost alert
'Great feeling' as trainer Ian Williams bags landmark winner
Airlie Beach in line for Grade One test in Royal Bond at Fairyhouse
Alpha Des Obeaux on target for Drinmore mission
National hero Mouse Morris dreaming of more Aintree glory
Profitable to stay with Clive Cox following Godolphin sale
Faugheen among Hatton's Grace 10 as Annie Power misses out
Coeur Blimey team on Sandown weather watch
Superstar Douvan all the rage for Tingle Creek battle
Michael Bell happy with Big Orange as he jets into Hong Kong

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