Nicky Henderson eyeing Fighting Fifth as starting point for Buveur D'Air

Sun 29 Oct 2017
Buveur D'air - Aintree - Barry Geraghty

By staff

Nicky Henderson is favouring the Unibet Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on December 2 as a starting point for current champion Buveur D'Air.

The JP McManus-owned six-year-old began last season over fences but ended up dominating over hurdles, winning at Cheltenham and Aintree.

Henderson has admitted his stable stars are a bit behind on their fitness due to the lack of rain recently but the Newcastle race is over a month away.

"We just want some rain for the big boys but they are still on schedule," said Henderson.

"I think Newcastle would be a good place for him and the International at Cheltenham for My Tent Or Yours with no penalties."

There is a possibility of Philip Hobbs' Triumph Hurdle winner Defi Du Seuil also running in the Fighting Fifth but the fact that he is also owned by McManus means the appearance of both is less likely. 

Hobbs had wanted to run his star at Cheltenham on Saturday but felt the ground was too quick.

"I think the general consensus was that it was not sensible to have his first race of the season on watered ground," said Hobbs.

"Where he goes now we have got to talk about it. I suppose the Fighting Fifth might be favourite at the moment but we will see.

"He is in good nick and everything has gone well. Hurdles is the route we will pursue at the moment. "

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