Record sixth Champion Hurdle for Henderson

ALREADY the most successful trainer at the Cheltenham Festival, Nicky Henderson has now won more Champion Hurdles than anyone else after Buveur D'Air beat stablemate My Tent Or Yours to give him a sixth win in the hurdling crown.

Just for good measure, Henderson also saddled runner-up My Tent Or Yours, who was finishing second in the race for a third time.

He had to wait seven years to break the record, though, as the 5-1 shot Buveur D'air profited from Petit Mouchoir's fall to romp home under the guidance of Noel Fehily, securing a 50th Cheltenham win for owner JP McManus.

My Tent Or Yours, at 16-1 and also trained by Henderson, finished second, with Petit Mouchoir (6-1) third in the opening day's feature race.

Asked how he felt about winning his 50th Cheltenham festival race he responded: "I never really thought about it, it's just a number".

There was joy for France in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Handicap Chase as Labaik and Un Temps Pour Tout claimed victory, while Tiger Roll and Tully East were also victorious on day one.

"It was a very open race, but I just knew he was a very talented horse".

McCoy won 31 times at the Cheltenham festival in his decorated career, including three Champion Hurdles, noticeably on Henderson's most recent victor of the race prior to Tuesday, Binocular.

How apt that the win should come on the day that a statue of the incomparable McCoy was unveiled by the 20-times champion.

"He's just a very good horse".

"All records are there to be broken". I've no excuses with him.

"The two-and-a-half-mile race at Aintree (Aintree Hurdle) could suit him over that trip". "I was very happy with him coming down the hill", said Fehily.

"I can't believe it - it's just a dream come true".

Irish Champion Hurdle victor Petit Mouchoir confirmed his form with Footpad, who finished fourth, and trainer Henry de Bromhead said: "I'm delighted with him, he's run a fine race, and I'd say he's run to exactly the same mark as his Irish Champion win".

"Yanworth just got outpaced, though he ran on again". David Pipe's Moon Racer was pulled up after a bad mistake. "I would imagine we will go to Punchestown".

Petit Mouchoir was another three lengths away from the victor. He might go novice chasing next season.

  • Salvatore Jensen