"Job done" for Buveur D'Air as he makes no mistake in Contenders Hurdle

Sat 3 Feb 2018

Watch how Buveur D'Air won at Sandown on Saturday plus Nick Luck's interview with Nicky Henderson.

By staff

Buveur D'Air repeated last year's victory in the Betfred 'Supports Jack Berry House' Contenders Hurdle as he disposed of just two rivals at Sandown.

The 2017 Champion Hurdle hero took his unbeaten run to nine ahead of the defence of his crown at Cheltenham next month.

Sent off the highly-prohibitive 1-16 favourite, Buveur D'Air went straight into the lead, with jockey Barry Geraghty out to dictate affairs and make his horse's class count.

John Constable tried to keep tabs on the hotpot and was just a couple of lengths behind Nicky Henderson's seven-year-old when Geraghty asked Buveur D'Air to go and settle the issue.

Geraghty looked round to see where John Constable was and there did not appear to be a problem until the last 100 yards when he eased off his mount.

John Constable was allowed to close in, but Geraghty was quickly alive to the danger and just shook up the champion to ensure success by a length and three-quarters. Cap'N was last of the trio, some 39 lengths back.

Geraghty said: "He was good. I suppose I was dossing as much as him and just took the foot off the gas.

"He jumped and he travelled, he's very special. He was good in Newcastle (Fighting Fifth Hurdle) and he was good in Kempton (Christmas Hurdle), they were thorough tests."

Paddy Power left Buveur D'Air unchanged at 4-6 for the Unibet Champion Hurdle. He was later cut to 2-5 by the firm after Faugheen's defeat in Ireland.

Henderson was more than satisfied with the performance, saying: "It is job done. He is a horse that does need huge amounts of work.

"You would have nearly liked something a little bit more aggressive for him. He has got to keep working. I wouldn't rule out having a canter around Kempton, we will see nearer the time.

"We were going to have to make the running and I was a bit worried he might be a bit keen in front, but he was nice and relaxed. He has had a nice time.

"We know where we are and what the timing is. He has to keep at it. He's just got to be a burly horse and a bit like a lot of horses, he puts on weight easily.

Betfred Day - Sandown Park Races Buveur D'Air and Geraghty extend their winning sequence at Sandown (PA)

"That was great and he has had a nice time. He loves that ground.

"The one thing that would frighten you is good to firm ground, but it is not going to be good to firm (at Cheltenham)."

Evan Williams was delighted with John Constable, who will also go for the Champion Hurdle.

"I was glad he finished where he finished. It was nice to have a nice run. He will go to the Champion Hurdle," said the Llancarfan trainer.

"I am happy with what I've done today. How can I be anything but delighted."

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