Buck’s adds fizz to Hennessy

Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup favourite Big Buck’s has, along with 30 others, stood his ground at the latest forfeit stage for the prestigious handicap.

Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup favourite Big Buck’s has, along with 30 others, stood his ground at the latest forfeit stage for the prestigious handicap.

Paul Nicholls’ second-season chaser is likely to have his first start of the season in Newbury’s three-and-a-quarter-mile showpiece on November 29.

Charlie Mann’s Air Force One, next in the ante-post lists, remains a possible - but his Ascot conqueror, Roll Along, has been taken out.

The most notable absentee is Saturday’s impressive Paddy Power Gold Cup scorer Imperial Commander, but his trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies still has lively candidates in Battlecry and Knowhere.

Others to have been taken out include Halcon Genelardais, Gungadu and Grand National winner Comply Or Die.

Exotic Dancer, due to run in the Betfair Chase this weekend, remains at the head of the handicap on 11st 12lb.

If he were not to take his chance, the weights would rise significantly as the next on the list is Knowhere on 10st 10lb.

Along with the favourite, Big Buck’s, Nicholls and owner Andy Stewart could also run recent Cheltenham winner Ornais and My Will.

Nicholls may also be represented by Star De Mohaison and Dear Villez.

Charlie Hall winner State Of Play may also make the final line-up – as could Joe Lively, New Alco, Oedipe, Slim Pickings, Character Building and Darkness.

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