Buveur D'Air wins Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle for Nicky Henderson

Owner JP McManus, jockey Barry Geraghty and Buveur D'Air after Newbury win
Owner JP McManus, jockey Barry Geraghty and Buveur D'Air after Newbury win

Two-time Champion Hurdle victor Buveur D'Air trounced his rivals to win the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle for trainer Nicky Henderson.

The 11-8 chance, under Barry Geraghty, powered clear of the 6-5 favourite Samcro to triumph by eight lengths.

"That was an incredible performance. There is so much more improvement in him," said Henderson.

Sizing Tennessee, with Tom Scudamore on board, won Newbury's Ladbrokes Trophy in a 1-2 for trainer Colin Tizzard.

It was an emotional victory on the 12-1 shot for Scudamore, who missed his grandfather's funeral on Friday due to racing commitments.

"This one's for him," said Scudamore, as he looked to the skies after Sizing Tennessee finished ahead of Elegant Escape.

Meanwhile, Buveur D'Air is likely to run next in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton before seeking a Champion Hurdle treble.

It was a fifth Fighting Fifth win for Henderson, who mapped out a similar path last season for his victor.

"I thought it was very smooth and slick. He looked like a true champion," said the trainer.


BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

This could hardly have been more impressive as Buveur D'Air put himself firmly on the road back to Cheltenham where he could join an elite band - including Istabraq, owned like him by JP McManus, and See You Then, also trained by Henderson - as a three-time champion.

First time out always has potential banana skin written all over it, especially with Samcro there, but with that front-running rival ensuring a decent enough test, Buveur D'Air was always moving and - apart from the final flight - jumping well, and he positively skated up.

Jump racing has possibly been inclined to underrate Buveur D'Air - not any more.