Having had his share of detractors, Nicky Henderson’s star two-miler Buveur D’Air is now attracting tens of thousands of pounds more in the Champion Hurdle market after a hugely impressive win at Newcastle over the weekend.
Despite having also won the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle on Tyneside in a stroll last year and winning not one, but two Champion Hurdles at Cheltenham, many punters were looking to get Buveur D’Air beaten and there was strong money in the ring at Newcastle for challenger Samcro who was backed into favouritism in fact.
Buveur D’Air however swept into the race easily before quickening clear to record probably the best win of his career to date from the aforementioned Samcro with his fellow up-and-coming novice Summerville Boy back in fourth.
Punters had declared champion trainer Nicky Henderson’s string under a cloud and wanted to back against this gelding, but on a terrific day for the Lambourn handler Buveur put himself firmly in control of the Champion Hurdle market, going odds-on with most bookmakers for a third successive triumph at Cheltenham in March.
So far around a quarter of all bets on the ante-post Champion Hurdle market are going on this horse, but that looks set to increase over the next few days as news spreads to all and sundry of just how good this latest performance was.
The amount of money being piled onto this horse for the Festival means bookmakers will already have their first major liability. Already it seems getting Buveur D’Air beaten in the big one is a priority for bookies as otherwise they could lose millions.
It’ll be interesting to see what actually liabilities bookmakers now have on Buveur D’Air this far out from the festival but for sure they are already running scared of this seven-time Grade 1 winner.
At the sharp end of sports betting and writing for the past 20 years, Gary Christie uses his vast experience and expertise to provide content for TVG, Mr Green, CasinoEuro and many others. His professional betting activities cover horse races in the UK, Ireland, France and the USA.