Buveur D’Air to replace Yanworth in Contenders Hurdle
Buveur D'Air (right) will be back over hurdles at Sandown on Saturday
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos) Buveur D'Air in line for Sandown appearance
By James Burn 4:48PM 1 FEB 2017
BUVEUR D'AIR, switched down the Stan James Champion Hurdle route on Tuesday, will have an immediate chance to prove connections were correct by running in Saturday's Betfred-backed Contenders Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday.
The Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old was due to make an appearance at the track over fences in the Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices' Chase, but it was revealed on Tuesday he would revert back to hurdles this season and warm up for the Cheltenham Festival by running in the Timeform Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on February 16.
However, after the news Alan King's inmate Yanworth, who like Buveur D'Air is owned by JP McManus, would miss the Contenders Hurdle after suffering a minor setback, the son of Crillon will step up the plate.
Henderson said on Wednesday: "If they want to go to Kelso with Yanworth we can switch them around. Buveur D'Air was [originally] going to run in the Scilly Isles so we've not had to do anything differently.
"Brain Power is going to run in the Contenders Hurdle as well. It's a pity running two against each other, but there are only three races left. There's this, the Morebattle and the Kingwell at Wincanton."
Conditions are set to be testing at Sandown on Saturday and Henderson added: "Buveur D'Air ceratinly handles some soft ground. I'm not so sure about Brain Power but he's got to run in it."
Buveur D'Air, third behind stablemate Altior in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle last season and successful in the Grade 1 Top Novices' Hurdle, is a general 6-1 for the Champion Hurdle, while stablemate Brain Power is 8-1.
Christmas Hurdle winner Yanworth, on the drift and as big as 11-2 with Ladbrokes for the Cheltenham championship after his setback, is not expected to be on the sidelines for long.
King said on Wednesday: "He has a slight tweak on the rear hind quarters. He needs a few easy days, so he won't be able to run at Sandown on Saturday.
"I'm expecting him to be all right in a few days and if that is the case we would seriously consider the Kingwell Hurdle – we have Sceau Royal in that but they have different owners.
"Or he could go straight to Cheltenham, we will have to see."