Trainer Paul Nicholls reports Big Buck's in good shape the morning after his pleasing racecourse gallop at Exeter.

The four-times World Hurdle hero, who is unbeaten in his last 18 races, had not been seen in competitive action since making a winning reappearance at Newbury in the Long Distance Hurdle in December last year.

Owner Andy Stewart's star was found to be suffering from a leg injury later that month.

However, he left his trainer "really thrilled" after a workout under Daryl Jacob on Thursday and remains on course to make his comeback in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham next month.

Nicholls tweeted: "Big Buck's fine today. Enjoyed his day out thanks to Exeter. Easy day today just two canters up Ditcheat Hill."

In other news from the Nicholls yard, Celestial Halo has been ruled out of Saturday's Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot with a foot infection.

The nine-year-old showed he was as good as ever when winning the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in impressive fashion last month.

He has At Fishers Cross behind him that day and the pair were due to meet again in a mouthwatering clash.