Nicholls gives injury verdict

18 December 2012 07:33:37 EST

Paul Nicholls is refusing to panic over the double injury blow to his star duo Big Buck's and Al Ferof.

However, after breaking the devastating news on the pair he later sent out a 'don't worry' message on Twitter.

The champion trainer said they had both suffered setbacks and that Big Buck's would not be taking up his engagement in the Long Walk Hurdle (Grade 1) at Ascot on Saturday. Al Ferof, meanwhile, will not be running in the King George on Boxing Day. Long Run is the current 15/8 favourite for the feature race on December 26.

Big Buck's injury was not sustained on the gallops but was "a little bit anxious in one of his legs at evening stables".

He added: "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."

Nicholls added that if he didn't come back showing his old sparkle and zest he would be retired.

Al Ferof has suffered a tendon injury and also now looks set to miss the rest of the season, according to his trainer.

However, later Nicholls was indicating there wasn't a major problem tweeting: "Re B Bucks & Al Ferof neither are career threatening injuries and both will be back."

He also promised that he will giving a more detailed report on the pair either later on Tuesday or on Wednesday.

bet365 offer Best Odds Guaranteed on every horse race - every day.

View all Horse Racing betting