Buveur D'Air To Take On Apple's Jade

Buveur D'Air To Take On Apple's Jade

Nicky Henderson's Buveur D'Air will face off against Apple's Jade in the Betdaq Punchestown Champion Hurdle on Friday, the declarations have confirmed.

Seven will go to post for the Grade One event over two miles, where the JP McManus eight-year-old will also come to terms with his Aintree successor Supasundae, who got the better of him in the two-and-a-half event on Merseyside.

Jessica Harrington's superstar took this race twelve months ago after Melon and Samcro exited at the same flight in an action packed race; the former who tries his hand once again for Willie Mullins, who also sports Coral Cup second Wicklow Brave.

Buveur D'Air though will be on somewhat of a recovery plan after also falling early on in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham back in March, along with the mare Apple's Jade, who failed to land a blow to in the opening Festival showpiece, but was a better third at Aintree in the Stayers event behind If The Cap Fits.

Surprisingly, he has only won twice this season from five attempts, after also being dispatched at Kempton Park over Christmas by another mare Verdana Blue, who shares the same yard.

His two victories came in the Grade One Fighting Fifth at Newcastle which now looks pretty weak form-wise, along with the Listed Contenders Hurdle at Sandown in February.

The grey Petit Mouchoir represents Henry De Bromhead in the second colours of Gigginstown, whilst Summerville Boy - last year's Supreme winner makes his second start for Tom George since returning from injury, looking to better his tailed off fourth in Liverpool four weeks ago.

The first two finishers in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle on Tuesday at Punchestown; Klassical Dream and Felix Desjy were both scratched from the ten-runner list, with Mares Hurdle faller Benie Des Dieux also out for Susannah Ricci.

Impressive Ballymore Novices' Hurdle scorer City Island will bid to emulate the five-year-old Klassical Dream in completing Cheltenham / Punchestown doubles, when he looks to land the Grade One Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle. 

He will come against the Colin Tizzard-trained Reserve Tank, who vastly improved from his Sandown victory to take the Grade One Mersey Novices' Hurdle at Aintree almost a month ago now at the National meeting.

Willie Mullins runs five in total in the race, with Come To Me, Easy Game, Royal Rendezvous, Tornado Flyer and Mares Novice Hurdle winner Eglantine Du Seuil all sent to post for the current Champion Trainer.