Two-time winner Buveur D’Air to miss Champion Hurdle as trainer Nicky Henderson decides to save 10-year-old for Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National meeting
- Buveur D’Air will not go for the hat-trick in the Champion Hurdle on March 16
- Trainer Nicky Henderson made the decision after talks with owner JP McManus
- The 10-year-old will be saved for the Aintree Hurdle at Grand National meeting
Trainer Nicky Henderson has announced that his dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air will not try to regain his crown next week at the Cheltenham Festival.
Buveur D’Air won the Champion Hurdle in 2017 and 2018 but missed the race last year as he recovered from an accident when a splinter from a hurdle became embedded above his hoof as he finished second in the 2019 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
Henderson nursed the JP McManus-owned 10-year-old back to fitness and he returned to the track after a 420-day lay-off when second to Navajo Pass at Haydock in January. Henderson expressed satisfaction with the comeback run and Buveur D’Air appeared on course to run on the opening day of the Festival a week today with Nico De Boinville in the saddle.
Two-time winner Buveur D’Air (front) to miss Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham
But Henderson says he will now be saved for the two-and-a-half-mile Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National meeting next month.
The trainer, who will be represented in the Champion Hurdle by 2020 winner Epatante, added: ‘The extra distance will suit him well. He and Epatante are in good form, and we are looking forward to next week.’
French-based British jockey Felix De Giles will ride David Cottin-trained Easysland when the gelding tries to win the Cross County Chase at the Festival for the second year running.
AREUTHEONEIWANT will be the first horse to run in the name of trainer Denise Foster after she took over the licence at Gordon Elliott’s stable when the mare runs in the final race at Clonmel today.