Sam ready for Big Buck’s pressure

Sam Twiston-Davies is confident that he can handle the pressure of trying to guide Big Buck’s (5/2 World Hurdle Outright) to World Hurdle glory at Cheltenham.

The jockey famously made his Festival debut as a schoolboy on board Irish Raptor who was left in the stalls but he learned quickly, winning the 2010 Foxhunters’ with Baby Run.

Twiston-Davies has since matured into an extremely accomplished jockey and has been rewarded with one of the most coveted rides of the year aboard Paul Nicholls’ superb 11-year-old.

However, he still has plenty of questions to answer, having been blamed for the horse losing an unbeaten run that stretched back to 2009 when he rode him to third behind Knockara Beau in January’s Cleeve Hurdle.

Nicholls has kept faith for Thursday though and it is sure to be an intriguing encounter with the likes of Annie Power (7/4 fav World Hurdle Outright) and At Fishers Cross (6/1) set to take part in one of the highest quality races of the week.

Despite the pressure, the 21-year-old is feeling good about his chances and believes his charge will be the horse to beat in the penultimate day’s showpiece event as he goes looking for a fifth World Hurdle title.

“Big Buck’s will take some serious beating,” he said. “Paul Nicholls says he has improved leaps and bounds since then. We rode him like we did to ensure he had a good blow and but for the last 50 yards he would have won.

“He jumps, he travels and the feeling he sent the reins through was amazing.”

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