The New One Unibet Hurdle Grade Two Guide

Haydock - January 23 2021
Haydock 15:15
Nico de Boinville

Buveur D'Air

Nico de Boinville
Nicky Henderson
Age: 10
Weight: 11-4
OR: 163
Days: 420

Buveur D'Air landed back to back Grade Ones at the Cheltenham festival in 2017 and 2018 but after that did not have his most convincing season results wise.

Back in 2018 he started his season off in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, as he did the season before putting in his best performance of the season when seeing off superstar Samcro like he was not there.

He then suffered a shock defeat to stablemate Verdana Blue in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day before getting back on track at Sandown in the Listed Contenders Hurdle.

His hat-trick bid in the Champion Hurdle loomed and if it wasn't for suffering his first fall of his career many think he would have picked up the pieces and landed the race that ultimately fell apart.

He headed to Aintree stepping up in trip and could only manage a narrow second to Supasundae but finished his season off in superb style showing that he still holds star ability when taking the Grade One Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown festival and reversing the form with Jessica Harrington's gelding.

Back for his seasonal debut in November 2019 he was odds on to land a third consecutive Fighting Fifth when being chinned by Cornerstone Lad on the line.

It was revealed after the race he had suffered a nasty injury when clattering one of the flights at the northern track and has not been seen since.

Having been off the track for a lengthy period of time he returns in this event and it looks only a question of fitness and how good he still is after his sever injury that nearly finished his career all together.

Getting 6lb from Ballyandy and 3lb from Navajo Pass looks extremely generous and should capitalise on that.

Haydock - January 23 2021
Haydock 15:15
Sam Twiston-Davies


Sam Twiston-Davies
Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 10
Weight: 11-10
OR: 157
Days: 28

The ever consistent veteran Ballyandy has been a superb yardstick for Nigel Twiston-Davies throughout his career running to a high standard in some huge races.

Having landed the Champion Bumper back in 2016, his Cheltenham record is exceptional also finishing third in the Grade Three Coral Cup last year at the festival.

Since then he has has stepped into better races placing in the International Hurdle at Wincanton before a staying on third in this race last year and then he finally got off the mark for the season at Haydock in the Grade Two Champion Hurdle trial, before finishing a respectable eighth of 17 in the Champion Hurdle.

He made his return to racing at Ffos Las and was a good second behind Sceau Royal in the Welsh Champion Hurdle and another, which he then used to finish a goo second again behind The Shunter in the Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle.

If it is not broke don't fix it and he was sent back to Prestbury Park for the International Hurdle, where again he gave his all to finish a close third behind Song For Someone and Silver Streak.

Last time out he was third again in the Christmas Hurdle behind Epatante and Silver Streak, running another good race and if Buveur D'Air is not race fit he looks the obvious contender for the race he won last year.

Haydock - January 23 2021
Haydock 15:15
Sean Quinlan

Navajo Pass

Sean Quinlan
Donald McCain
Age: 5
Weight: 11-7
OR: 149
Days: 22

Navajo Pass is the big outsider of the three runner for race for Donald McCain and will be looking to cause an upset for the inform yard who are currently at 24% strike rate.

The five year old son of Nathaniel has been a nice horse for the yard on the flat and over hurdles, with his best run to date coming last season at Doncaster when winning the Grade Two juvenile Hurdle.

This term he has been stepped up in trip and in company and has not handled it well being outclassed at Aintree twice, but last time out got back to winning ways at the third time trying 2m4f.

It came in a weak Class 3 Handicap Hurdle at Musselburgh and that form is not good enough to see him win his event, even though the drop in trip will help.