Henderson: D'Air needs heavy work load
Nicky Henderson pledged a tough work schedule for Buveur D'Air as the reigning champion hurdler cemented his position at the head of the market for this year's Cheltenham Festival showpiece.
Odds of 1/16 say everything about what was expected of Henderson's charge in the Betfred-sponsored Contenders Hurdle at Sandown, and he duly got the job done with the minimum of fuss, notwithstanding a minor heart flutter close home.
Barry Geraghty eased off momentarily, allowing John Constable half a chance before Buveur D'Air was asked for a little more to win cosily.
Henderson, who also won the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase with Terrefort, said: "He is a horse that does need huge amounts of work.
"I wouldn't rule out having a canter around Kempton, we will see nearer the time. He has to keep at it.
"He's just got to be a burly horse and a bit like a lot of horses he puts on weight easily."
Buveur D'Air is as short as 4/9 in places to retain his crown following the defeat of Faugheen in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle on the opening afternoon of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.