Buveur D’Air a contender once more

It was all change on the Contenders Hurdle front again on Wednesday, with Yanworth ruled out but Buveur D'Air back in.

Yanworth's setback has forced another change of plan for Buveur D'Air

News broke earlier in the day Alan King's Yanworth had suffered a slight setback and would miss the race, but while Nicky Henderson's Buveur D'Air is also owned by JP McManus and had the entry, he was expected to run at Kelso later this month.

Having been chasing this season, the decision to return Buveur D'Air to hurdles was only taken on Tuesday, with Henderson favouring a trip to the Morebattle Hurdle on February 16 over the Sandown race in preparation for Cheltenham.

However, following Yanworth's defection it now appears Buveur D'Air will line up after all this weekend. Brain Power, also trained by Henderson, had been an odds-on favourite on news of Yanworth's non-participation.

Henderson tweeted: "Change of plan! With Yanworth not going to @Sandownpark on Sat, Buveur will now head there instead. Lots of chopping & changing this week!"

McManus' racing manager Frank Berry said: "Obviously Buveur D'Air is in at Sandown, so it's still an option.

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"We'll see how he is in the morning and we'll come to a decision then I'd imagine.

"Nicky had mentioned taking him up to Kelso, so we'll just see."

Yanworth was due to have his prep race for the Champion Hurdle in the Betfred-sponsored contest.

A winner of six of his seven starts over hurdles, his only defeat came to Yorkhill in the Neptune at the Festival 12 months ago and he beat The New One in the Christmas Hurdle last time out.

According to the antepost betting he is the leading British-trained challenger for the Champion Hurdle this year.

Berry said: "He's just met with a small problem. He's tweaked a muscle in behind, it's nothing serious but he can't run this weekend.

"Hopefully it won't take too long to come right and we can get going with him again.

"Whether he runs again (before Cheltenham) we'll just have to play it by ear."

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