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Champion Hurdle
Grade 1, Cheltenham 15:30
£400,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 87y, Class 1  
Tuesday 14th March 2017

1 Buveur D'Air 5/1
2 My Tent Or Yours 16/1
3 Petit Mouchoir 6-1
11 ran NR: Ch'Tibello Distances: 4½l, 3l, 3l
Time: 3m 50.90s (fast by 0.10s)

Buveur D’Air wins the Champion Hurdle impressively for Nicky Henderson, under Noel Fehily

Buveur D'Air
© Racehorse Photos
Buveur D'Air

Nicky Henderson's Festival total rose to 57 after 5/1 chance Buveur D'Air gave him a sixth Stan James Champion Hurdle success, making him the winning-most trainer ever in the hurdling championship.

Buveur D'Air, a six-year-old French-bred by Crillon, held off his stable mate My Tent Or Yours by four and a half lengths under Noel Fehily.

Both the first and second home are owned by J P McManus, who was also winning his sixth Stan James Champion Hurdle. It was McManus' 50th Festival triumph in all.

Henderson said: "The horse Buveur D'Air beat very easily first time out at Haydock over fences was second to Altior in the Arkle [Cloudy Dream] and I thought 'blimey, that's good chasing form.' I wondered had I got it wrong [in sending him back over hurdles].

"We felt it was the right thing to do and it has worked on the day. Noel has given him a beautiful ride. Well done him.

"You feel sorry for My Tent Or Yours. It's wonderful - we have won the Champion Hurdle - but that is now three Champion Hurdles he has been second in as well as a Supreme Novices' Hurdle. What else can you say about a horse who has done that again and again? He has been sensational. But the youngster has got home, and that is great.

"I thought Brain Power [Henderson's third runner in the race] was going very well two out but he did not get home. I feel sorry for Michael Buckley (owner)."

McManus said: "Nicky insisted Buveur D'Air went back to hurdling - in the end I let him have his way. It was great to see My Tent Or Yours finishing second for a fourth time here. I don't know which one Barry Geraghty [who misses The Festival through injury] would have chosen, but I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been Buveur D'Air."

Fehily was winning his second Stan James Champion Hurdle, having taken the race in 2012 on the Paul Nicholls-trained Rock On Ruby.

He said: "It doesn't matter to me whether it was a vintage Champion Hurdle or not. Buveur D'Air is a class animal and I won a Grade One at Aintree on him last year. He has been a very good horse to me and I love him to bits.

"I thought early on that maybe he was doing a little bit too much. I thought I had taken too long to get him switched off, but once I got to the top of the hill I was very happy. He travelled great down the hill. That was the one part of the race I was worried about - whether or not he would have the pace.

"It is a privilege to ride in these colours and I am delighted to ride a winner for him [J P McManus].

"You certainly appreciate winning the Stan James Champion Hurdle more the second time round."

Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
£400,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 87y, Class 1
11 ran
Going: Good to Soft

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Buveur D'Air (FR) 5/1 N D Fehily
11-10
N J Henderson 6
2nd My Tent Or Yours (IRE) 16/1 Aidan Coleman
11-10
N J Henderson 10
3rd 3 Petit Mouchoir (FR) 6/1 B J Cooper
11-10
H de Bromhead 6
4th 3 Footpad (FR) 14/1 R Walsh
11-10
W P Mullins 5
5th s.h The New One (IRE) 10/1 Sam Twiston-Davies
11-10
N A Twiston-Davies 9
6th Sceau Royal (FR) 25/1 D A Jacob
11-10
A King 5
7th ½ Yanworth 2/1f M P Walsh
11-10
A King 7
8th ¾ Wicklow Brave 22/1 P Townend
11-10
W P Mullins 8
9th 15 Brain Power (IRE) 13/2 D J Mullins
11-10
N J Henderson 6
10th 14 Cyrus Darius 50/1 B Hughes
11-10
J M Jefferson 8
PU   Moon Racer (IRE) T Scudamore David Pipe 8
NR Ch'tibello (FR) 25/1 Harry Skelton
11-10
D Skelton 6

Mathematician Betting

50 UP FOR J P MCMANUS

J P McManus, the leading owner at The Festival, made it 50 winners at the meeting when Buveur D'Air won the hurdling crown, from My Tent Or Yours, a one-two for the owner and trainer Nicky Henderson.

His nearest pursuer in winners at The Festival, Gigginstown House Stud, has had 16 successes, which demonstrates McManus' long-term commitment to Jump racing.

His first winner at The Festival was Mister Donovan in the 1982 equivalent of the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

Buveur D'Air was the sixth Stan James Champion Hurdle winner for McManus, following on Istabraq (1998, 199 and 2000), Binocular (2010) and Jezki (2014).

McManus, interviewed on ITV, commented: "Buveur D'Air was reading the script and I also had an eye on My Tent Or Yours in behind. I was in a pretty comfortable position jumping the second last.

"In fairness to poor old Yanworth (the 2/1 favourite trained by Alan King), he got very warm before the race and maybe ran his race beforehand.

"Nicky said not to forget about My Tent Or Yours - Nicky said he would not disgrace himself.

"Full marks to Nicky and his team down there, and all the other trainers. Looking around parade ring there, the horses are a credit to them all. They are in marvellous condition and ready to run for their lives.

"I never thought about reaching 50 winners. It is just a number. Fifty has gone now and we are looking for 51!

"I have many favourites [of the 50]. The first one was great as I had a couple of disappointments before that. Jack Of Trumps in '78 was odds-on for the four miler and fell or unseated on the final circuit. The following year, we had a short-priced one Deep Gale and the same happened to him - he fell five out.

"In '82, Mister Donovan won the Neptune and I always said had he not won I would not have had the others. We then had a quiet time, just having a few runners through the 80s.

"In 1991 Danny Connors won with Jonjo [O'Neill], then we had a double in '94, before the years with Istabraq winning the Champion Hurdle. They were marvellous years. The first year was very sentimental because we had lost John Durkan who found Istabraq for us. It was filled with emotion that day.

"Then we had some marvellous times with A P. Binocular in 2010, Synchronised in 2012 and Uxizandre two years ago. Every winner you have at Cheltenham is a magic moment."

PETIT PRETTY GOOD

Nicky Henderson and owner J P McManus dominated the St James Champion Hurdle with responsibility for the first and second, but in terms of long-term potential third-placed Petit Mouchoir lost little in defeat.

The grey six-year-old, who is part of the Gigginstown House Stud ranks, won an Irish point-to-point over three miles when making his racing debut, so to be squaring up to the best two-milers this season has to be regarded as a bonus. He arrived as winner of the Irish Champion Hurdle, and ran pretty much to that form by again holding off Footpad, who finished fourth, a further three lengths adrift.

Trainer Henry De Bromhead said of Petit Mouchoir: "I'm delighted with him - he's run a fine race, and I'd say he's run up to his Irish Champion mark - it certainly looks like that.

"We tried to put the others under a bit of pressure out in front - he might run again this season, I would think so, but it's up to the lads [Michael and Eddie O'Leary]. We'll get this season out the way before making plans [about chasing in the future]."

FOOTPAD STEALS FOURTH IN A PHOTO-FINISH

Willie Mullins, who had two runners in the Stan James Champion Hurdle today, was delighted with the run of his charge, Footpad, after he was confirmed fourth following a photo-finish, a short-head in front of The New One.

Mullins said:" I was very happy with Footpad - to get in the first four was a good result." Ruby Walsh, jockey of the five year old Creachadoir gelding, added: "He ran a blinder. He is only a five year old and will keep improving."

Mullins also commented on his other runner Wicklow Brave, who finished eighth: "Wicklow just didn't like the start but ran a great race, his first run back after so long. He clearly has ability and we will get it out of him."

Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer of The New One, said: "It was brilliant, it was his sixth run here and he has never let us down. I think we may go further in distance and Aintree would be our first thought."

CHAMPION HURDLE PREVIOUS RESULTS

2016-WINNER-ANNIE POWER 8-11-03 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-5/2 Fav
2ND-My Tent Or Yours 9-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-10/1
3RD-Nichols Canyon 6-11-10 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-15/2
12 ran, Time-3m 45.10s (new record); Dist-41⁄2, hd

2015-WINNER-FAUGHEEN 7-11-10 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-4/5 Fav
2ND-Arctic Fire 6-11-10 Owner-Wicklow Bloodstock Limited; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Danny Mullins; SP-20/1
3RD-Hurricane Fly 11-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend ; SP-8/1
8 ran, Time-3m 50.90s; Dist-11⁄2, 5

2014-WINNER-JEZKI 6-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-9/1
2ND-My Tent Or Yours 7-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-3/1
3RD-The New One 6-11-10 Owner-Sarah Such; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-10/3
9 ran, Time-3m 45.25s (new record); Dist-nk, 2½ 11/4 Fav Hurricane Fly (4th)

2013-WINNER- HURRICANE FLY 9-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-13/8 Fav
2ND-Rock On Ruby 8-11-10 Owner-The Festival Goers; Trainer-Harry Fry; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-11/2
3RD-Countrywide Flame 5-11-10 Owner-Estio Pinnacle Racing; Trainer-John Quinn; Jockey-Denis O’Regan; SP-16/1
9 ran, Time-3m 59.35s; Dist-2½, 1¾

2012-WINNER-ROCK ON RUBY 7-11-10 Owner-The Festival Goers; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-11/1
2ND-Overturn 8-11-10 Owner-Tim Leslie; Trainer-Donald McCain; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-20/1
3RD-Hurricane Fly 8-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-4/6 Fav
10 ran, Time-3m 50.10s; Dist 3¾, 1¾

2011-WINNER-HURRICANE FLY 7-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Mrs Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/4 Fav
2ND-Peddlers Cross 6-11-10 Owner-Tim Leslie; Trainer-Donald McCain; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-9/2
3RD-Oscar Whisky 6-11-10 Owner- Walters Plant Hire Ltd; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1
11 ran, Time-3m 53.71s; Dist 11⁄4 , 5

2010-WINNER-BINOCULAR 6-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-9/1
2ND-Khyber Kim 8-11-10 Owner-Caroline Mould; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-7/1
3RD-Zaynar 5-11-10 Owner- Men In Our Position; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Andrew Tinkler; SP-15/2
12 ran, Time-3m 53.80s; Dist-3½, 6 11/4 Fav Go Native (10th)

2009-WINNER-PUNJABI 6-11-10 Owner-Raymond Tooth; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-22/1
2ND-Celestial Halo 5-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-17/2
3RD-Binocular 5-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-6/4 Fav
23 ran, Time-4m 0.90s; Dist- nk, hd

2008-WINNER-KATCHIT 5-11-10 Owner-D S J P Syndicate; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-10/1
2ND-Osana 6-11-10 Owner-Thomas Barr; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Tom Scudamore; SP-9/2
3RD-Punjabi 5-11-10 Owner-Raymond Tooth; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-25/1
15 ran, Time-4m 8.10s; Dist-1, 5 2/1 Fav Sizing Europe (14th)

2007-WINNER-SUBLIMITY 7-11-10 Owner-Bill Hennessy; Trainer-John Carr IRE; Jockey-Philip Carberry; SP-16/1
2ND-Brave Inca 9-11-10 Owner-Novices Syndicate; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/2
3RD-Afsoun 5-11-10 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-28/1
10 ran, Time-3m 55.70s; Dist-3, nk 6/4 Fav Detroit City (6th)

2006-WINNER-BRAVE INCA 8-11-10 Owner-Novices Syndicate; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-7/4 Fav
2ND-Macs Joy 7-11-10 Owner-Mac’s J Racing Syndicate; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-13/2
3RD-Hardy Eustace 9-11-10 Owner-Lar Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-11/2
18 ran. Time-3m 50.00s; Dist-1, 3½

2005-WINNER-HARDY EUSTACE 8-11-10 Owner-Lar Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-
7/2 Jt Fav
2ND-Harchibald 6-11-10 Owner-Des Sharkey; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-7/1
3RD-Brave Inca 7-11-10 Owner-Novices Syndicate; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Barry Cash; SP-10/1
14 ran, Time-3m 51.50s; Dist-nk, nk 7/2 Jt Fav Back In Front (9th)

2004-WINNER-HARDY EUSTACE 7-11-10 Owner-Lar Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-33/1
2ND-Rooster Booster 10-11-10 Owner-Terry Warner; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-11/8 Fav
3RD-Intersky Falcon 7-11-10 Owner-Interskyracing.com & Jacqui O’Neill; Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Liam Cooper; SP-8/1
14 ran, Time-3m 54.50s; Dist-5, 4

2003-WINNER-ROOSTER BOOSTER 9-12-00 Owner-Terry Warner; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-9/2
2ND-Westender 7-12-00 Owner-Matt Archer & Jean Broadhurst; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Rodi Greene; SP-33/1
3RD-Rhinestone Cowboy 7-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-5/2
Fav 17 ran, Time-3m 54.70s; Dist-11, 3

2002-WINNER-HORS LA LOI III 7-12-00 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-James Fanshawe; Jockey-Dean Gallagher; SP-10/1
2ND-Marble Arch 6-12-00 Owner-Martin Wilson, Rory Sweet and Mary Wilson; Trainer-Hughie Morrison; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-25/1
3RD-Bilboa 5-11-09 Owner-Jorg Vasicek; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Thierry Doumen; SP-14/1
15 ran, Time-3m 53.80s; Dist- 3, ½ 2/1 Fav Istabraq (pu)

2001 Cancelled

2000-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 8-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-8/15 Fav
2ND-Hors La Loi III 5-12-00 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Dean Gallagher; SP-11/1
3RD-Blue Royal 5-12-00 Owner-Lynn Wilson; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-16/1
12 ran, Time-3m 48.10s; Dist-4, nk

1999-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 7-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-4/9 Fav
2ND-Theatreworld 7-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Tommy Treacy; SP-16/1 3RD-French Holly 8-12-00 Owner-Kieran Flood; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Andrew Thornton; SP-11/2
14 ran, Time 3m 56.7s; Dist-3½, 2½

1998-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 6-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-3/1 Fav
2ND-Theatreworld 6-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Tommy Treacy; SP-20/1
3RD-I’m Supposin 6-12-00 Owner-Nicholas Cooper; Trainer-Richard Rowe; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-6/1
18 ran, Time 3m 49.1s; Dist-12, 1

1997-WINNER-MAKE A STAND 6-12-00 Owner-Peter Deal; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-7/1
2ND-Theatreworld 5-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-33/1
3RD-Space Trucker 6-12-00 Owner-Elaine Queally; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-John Shortt; SP-9/2
17 ran, Time-3m 48.4s, Dist-5, ¾ 7/2 Fav Large Action (pu)

1996-WINNER-COLLIER BAY 6-12-00 Owner-Wally Sturt; Trainer-Jim Old; Jockey-Graham Bradley; SP-9/1
2ND-Alderbrook 7-12-00 Owner-Ernie Pick; Trainer-Kim Bailey; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-10/11 Fav
3RD-Pridwell 6-12-00 Owner-Jones, Berstock and Fleet Partnership; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Chris Maude;
SP-33/1 16 ran, Time-3m 59.0s, Dist-2½, 6

1995-WINNER-ALDERBROOK 6-12-00 Owner-Ernie Pick; Trainer-Kim Bailey; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-11/2
2ND-Large Action 7-12-00 Owner-Brian Stewart-Brown; Trainer-Oliver Sherwood; Jockey-Jamie Osborne; SP-4/1 Jt Fav
3RD-Danoli 7-12-00 Owner-Dan O’Neill; Trainer-Tom Foley IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-4/1 Jt Fav
14 ran, Time-4m 03.1s, Dist-5, 2