BUVEUR D’AIR is the red-hot 1-4 favourite for the Unibet Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Nicky Henderson’s champion hurdler has not come off the bridle in two wins since winning at Cheltenham in March.
He reappeared in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle and won as a 1-6 favourite should do, with his partner Barry Geraghty even suggesting he felt a stronger horse this season.
“Newcastle was perfect,” said Henderson. “The great thing about Buveur D’Air is that he loves soft ground, but I am not saying that he needs it to come up as a bog at Kempton.
“We would never run him on fast ground. He is in good form and he did that very well up there (Newcastle).”
The New One has been second in the race three times, behind My Tent Or Yours (2013), Faugheen (2015) and Yanworth 12 months ago.
Templegate’s TV tips
1.20 Kempton – REIGNING SUPREME: ‘Won twice from three starts over hurdles last season and he looks well weighted’ (add to your betslip)
1.55 Kempton – ELEGANT ESCAPE: ‘I’ve a feeling he’s progressing faster than his rivals and he put in a fine round of jumping last time’ (add to your betslip)
2.10 Wetherby – BAYWING: ‘Loves testing ground and his chase win last February over today’s course and distance is good form’ (add to your betslip)
2.30 Kempton – BUVEUR D’AIR: ‘Should have little trouble rattling off his eighth straight win’ (add to your betslip)
3.05 Kempton – THISTLECRACK: ‘If he’s back to the form of 12 months ago he will be the one to beat’ (add to your betslip)
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ popular hurdler turns 10 in a few days and finished second in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham last weekend.
Twiston-Davies said: “He’s been absolutely fine since last week so we’re happy to go again.
“Unfortunately we’ve got a fairly big stumbling block in our way in the champion hurdler, but there’s good money for second.
“He’s been second in this three times already, he’s bumped into one every time, but we’ll give it a go.”