Buveur ready for take-off over fences at Haydock
A high class hurdler, Buveur D'Air makes his chase debut at Haydock
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Buveur ready for take-off over fences at Haydock
By Alex Wiltshire 9:30AM 17 DEC 2016
BUVEUR D'AIR, one of the leading novice hurdlers from last season, makes his hotly anticipated chasing debut for Nicky Henderson in a four-runner novice event at Haydock on Saturday.
The five-year-old finished third to Altior in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March before edging out Petit Mouchoir to win the Grade 1 novice hurdle at Aintree by a neck, and Henderson is ready to unleash the new JP McManus recruit today.
Henderson said: "He'll run in the colours of JP for the first time and makes his chase debut in what looks a good race to start him off in."
However, this will be far from merely a schooling session if he is to get home in front as the Malcolm Jefferson-trained Cloudy Dream is a potentially high-class chaser himself under the in-form Brian Hughes.
The Trevor Hemmings-owned six-year-old has the benefit of two runs over fences already, and boasts smart form after demolishing Pain Au Chocolat by 12 lengths at Haydock last month, the result of which means he has to give 8lb to his nearest rival and a 16-1 chance for the Racing Post Arkle Chase in March.
"He gets weight from Cloudy Dream and he did look very good at Haydock so we'll have to be at the top of our game to beat him. But we have to start somewhere over fences and he's ready to go," added Henderson in his StanJames.com blog.
"Whether his future will be over the larger obstacles only time will tell, but he's jumped very well at home and I have no concerns at the moment. You'd hope he's in good shape to go."
Jefferson camp up for challenge
Jefferson is relishing the challenge of taking on Buveur D'Air and reports Cloudy Dream to be in good form.
"He's in good fiddle," he said. "There's not that many places to go and the ground won't be ideal. You all have to go there and do it and it's [Buveur D'Air's] first run over fences. He was higher rated over hurdles and we have to give him weight but if you're not in it, you can't win it."
The field is completed by What's Up Rory, who makes his first start for trainer Richard Price, and the Richard Hobson-trained Chic Name, who returns to race in Britain after three runs in France.
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