Dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air has undergone “a routine wind operation” during his summer break, trainer Nicky Henderson has revealed.
The seven-year-old ended last season unbeaten in four starts, winning the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton before following up his 2017 victory in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Buveur D’Air has now racked up 10 wins on the bounce, with his last defeat coming at the hands of stablemate Altior in the 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Henderson reports Buveur D’Air to be in fine shape following a break at owner JP McManus’ Martinstown Stud in Ireland, and a return trip to Newcastle on December 1 is the target.
The trainer told his Unibet blog: “Everything is going well with Buveur D’Air and he is on track for another crack at the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle before, all being well, taking in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.
“I’ve been very happy with him since he came back from Martinstown where he enjoyed plenty of fun with (three-times Champion Hurdle winner) Istabraq before returning to Seven Barrows where he underwent a routine wind operation ahead of coming back into full work.
“It’s nothing serious and has not affected his normal routine one iota.”
Henderson also has plans mapped out for reigning two-mile chase champion Altior, with the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on December 8 the ultimate pre-Christmas goal, although he might reappear at Cheltenham next month.
Henderson added: “Altior is in great shape and I couldn’t be happier with him.
“We were forced to miss the Tingle Creek last year, but that race is very much the early season target this time around although that’s not to say he won’t turn up at Cheltenham for the Shloer Chase in November if things continue to go well.”
Henderson also handles Might Bite, who won the King George VI Chase at Kempton last term but had to settle for second behind Native River in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
The Seven Barrows trainer said: “The Betfair Chase at (Haydock on November 24) is the likely starting point for Might Bite and we might as well have a go at the Jockey Club Triple Crown and the £1million bonus.
“We were tempted with it last season but the King George was our main goal, however this year we might as well give it a shot and see where we end up.”