8 In For Long Walk Hurdle

Thu 20th Dec 2012, 11:51

Barry Geraghty on Long Walk duty
©Healy Racing Photos
Eight runners were declared for the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday after Big Buck's was the only defection at the 48-hour final declaration stage.

A wide-open race for the three-mile-one-furlong Grade One is on the cards after the brilliant stayer, winner of this race for the last three years, was ruled out through injury.

Paul Nicholls, the trainer of Big Buck's, could still take the honours with either Prospect Wells or Five Dream.

Nick Williams saddles Reve De Sivola, who stuck on well in the closing stages to finish second behind Big Buck's in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on his first run for almost a year.

Trustan Times is an interesting contender after defying top weight of 11st 12lb in the "Fixed Brush" Handicap Hurdle at Haydock for North Yorkshire trainer Tim Easterby.

Alan King is represented by Smad Place while Nicky Henderson is double-handed with Master Of The Hall and Cucumber Run.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Kayf Aramis completes the field.

The Cheltenham Festival - Will You Have a Flutter?

The Cheltenham Festival begins on the 14th March. The excitement is building: horses are being put through their final preparations on the gallops, jockeys are being booked for rides and anticipation is high for the four day Festival. Many thousands of racing fans will make the trip to the Cotswolds while others will watch from afar but, one thing is for sure, they will all have a bet on their fancies for the big races.

THE IRISH TIMES