Buveur D'Air and Might Bite delight Nicky Henderson at Kempton

Sun 25 Feb 2018

By staff

Nicky Henderson described himself as "one happy trainer" after leading Cheltenham Festival candidates Buveur D'Air and Might Bite enjoyed a gallop after racing at Kempton on Saturday.

Buveur D'Air is the odds-on favourite for a repeat of his 2017 victory in the Unibet Champion Hurdle, while Might Bite leads the way in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup betting following his King George VI Chase victory at Christmas.

The duo were partnered by regular riders Barry Geraghty and Nico de Boinville respectively as they covered a circuit of the track in company with fellow Festival hope Theinval, who set the pace under Jeremiah McGrath.

Henderson said: "We've got three happy jockeys and I think we have three happy horses, so you've got one happy trainer which makes seven in my maths.

"Buveur is very fresh. They were very fresh in there coming out. The plan bringing them here is to do it under raceday conditions.

"The ground was a bit better down the back, so we did it slightly a different way round and we finished down the back straight rather than the home straight, which was a bit quicker.

"Theinval is a very good lead horse, he is going for the Grand Annual and he has done his job. Barry said he was full of horse and the three boys were absolutely thrilled, so I have to take it from them.

"They've got a bit of time to go. That was perfect as part of their build up.

"Buveur D'Air obviously had a race at Sandown the other day, but on the other hand, he didn't do much there and he probably did more today. I just wanted him to go through the motions.

"That is why it is good to go to a racecourse - it puts that little edge on them. You could see in the paddock they were right on it and they thought they were going to have a race and they were probably disappointed they didn't get one!

"They will work next weekend. They will get two more proper bits of work. If it freezes, it freezes, but it won't hinder us.

"That (snow) would inconvenience us. That would be the only thing that could make a mess of it, then we would have to starting thinking what we do.

"They do need more work - they are not going to sit at home between now and Cheltenham and this is a good time to be doing this. "

Geraghty was equally as impressed with Buveur D'Air, adding: "It was lovely. Jeremiah brought a nice even pace and it was very simple.

"The three finished hard held on the bridle. He is in great shape."

The workout sparked a lot of positive and negative debate on social media plus was included among the Talking Points on Luck On Sunday.

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