Champion Hurdle hope Buveur D’Air scores in style

Buveur D’Air proved far too classy on his return to hurdling

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Champion hope Buveur D'Air scores in style By Tony McFadden 2:05PM 4 FEB 2017

Report: Sandown, Saturday

Betfred "Follow Us On Twitter" Contenders Hurdle (Listed race) 2m, 4yo+

CHAMPION HURDLE contender Buveur D'Air did his Cheltenham festival claims no harm with an effortless victory under a motionless Barry Geraghty.

Buveur D'Air was campaigned over fences in the early stages of the season, but this week trainer Nicky Henderson revealed a decision had been made to send him back over hurdling, with an open-looking Stan James Champion Hurdle the target.

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Sent off the 1-4 favourite in a four-runner field, this was a test Buveur D'Air needed to pass easily if he was to be considered a legitimate contender for the festival prize.

He did so in style, not needing to come off the bridle to beat Rayvin Black by a length and a half.

Bookmakers were generally impressed, cutting his price for the Champion Hurdle to 4-1 (from 6s), with Betfair Sportsbook offering a standout 5-1.

Reaction from connections

Henderson said: "He's done nothing wrong over fences but I think he is very good at this [hurdling].

"He had to do what he's just done but it looked good enough to me."

Geraghty was also impressed and said: "He did it well. He was a little sticky at the first but then he was slick at his hurdles.

"The ground was hard work, it was tough, but he did it easily."

Asked whether the six-year-old is a genuine Champion Hurdle contender, Geraghty responded: "I'd like to think so."

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