Bu­veur’s air of suc­cess

Evening Telegraph (Late Extra Edition) - - FREEVIEW/SATELLITE -

BU­VEUR D’air had to show courage to go with his un­doubted class to suc­cess­fully de­fend his crown in the Unibet Cham­pion Hur­dle.

Trainer Nicky Hen­der­son’s de­ci­sion to abort a novice chase cam­paign to re­vert to the smaller ob­sta­cles paid off spec­tac­u­larly when he won the two-mile hur­dling crown last March and, hav­ing won each of his pre­vi­ous three starts this sea­son with the min­i­mum of fuss, he was the 4-6 favourite to be­come the first horse to win back-to­back re­newals of the race since Hardy Eus­tace in 2005.

With sta­ble com­pan­ion Charli Parcs en­sur­ing a sound gal­lop along­side the 2015 cham­pion Faugh­een, Bu­veur D’air was given a nice lead into the race and, although his jump­ing was not as sure-footed as usual, he ar­rived on the scene trav­el­ling pow­er­fully af­ter jump­ing the sec­ond flight from the fin­ish.

With Faugh­een weak­en­ing out of con­tention, it was sta­ble­mate Melon who gave Bu­veur D’air a real bat­tle rac­ing up the fa­mous hill but Hen­der­son’s charge dug deep for Barry Ger­aghty to pre­vail by a neck.

Hen­der­son, sad­dling his sev­enth Cham­pion Hur­dle win­ner, said: “It was a good race, a proper race. It’s the first time he has had a race all sea­son af­ter three easy wins and that did worry me.

“He had a good blow, as he sim­ply hasn’t had to knuckle down be­fore. It was job done. He is a young horse and has done every­thing right the whole way. That is a big re­lief, you are ex­pected to col­lect and he has done.”

Bu­veur D’air

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