Buveur D'Air is on course for the Betfred 'Supports Jack Berry House' Contenders Hurdle at Sandown, ahead of his bid to retain his Unibet Champion Hurdle crown at Cheltenham.
The seven-year-old, trained by Nicky Henderson, took the Listed prize on the way to glory at Prestbury Park last March and this Listed contest has been the intermediary target since he won the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.
"He goes to Sandown all being well. The aim is to go there," said McManus' racing manager, Frank Berry.
However, the list of possibles for Saturday's race will not be known until Tuesday, as the race was reopened due to insufficient entries.
Berry reports Defi Du Seuil to be on course for the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on the same afternoon, where he is likely to clash with the Willie Mullins-trained Faugheen.
The five-year-old, trained by Philip Hobbs, won the Triumph Hurdle in 2017 but has not run since disappointing in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot in November, when he lost his unbeaten record over jumps.
"The plan at the minute is for him to go to Leopardstown. Philip is very happy with him and he's back running better. All being well he'll go there at the weekend," said Berry.
Defi Du Seuil could be joined by the Jessica Harrington-trained Jezki, who won the Champion Hurdle in 2014.
"Jezki might run as well," confirmed Berry.
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