Buveur D’Air faces five at Aintree
Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D'Air will face just five rivals when he bids to follow up in the Betway Aintree Hurdle on Thursday.
Already a course winner having landed the Top Novices' Hurdle 12 months ago, Nicky Henderson's six-year-old kicked off this season over fences, winning at Haydock and Warwick.
However, Henderson saw an opening in the two-mile hurdling division and after a warm-up victory at Sandown, the JP McManus-owned gelding provided his trainer with a record sixth victory in the Champion Hurdle with a tremendous display at Cheltenham just over three weeks ago.
He steps up to two and a half miles on his return to Merseyside and is reopposed by his stable companion and fellow McManus runner My Tent Or Yours.
The 10-year-old has finished second in the Champion Hurdle three times and chased home the brilliant mare Annie Power in this event last season.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained The New One was only fifth in the Champion Hurdle, but could be seen to better effect over this longer trip.
Paul Nicholls saddles Old Guard, while the Irish challenge is made up of Colin Kidd's Rashaan and Henry de Bromhead's Identity Thief, with the latter reverting to hurdles for the first time this season.
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