Buveur D’Air brushed aside a lengthy absence and asserted his class to win the Read Paddy Brennan at 32Red.com Novices’ Chase at Haydock Park this afternoon.
The four year old Chic Name was straight into the lead from Cloudy Dream and the chasing debutant Buveur D’Air, with What’s Up Rory last of the four.
Chic Name continued to lead as the field passed the stands, although visibility was poor with fog shrouding the track.
Racing back into the home straight, Chic Name remained ahead of Cloudy Dream and Buveur D’Air, with What’s Up Rory tailed off.
Conor O’Farrell niggled Chic Name, but Cloudy Dream closed well, while Buveur D’Air, maybe three lengths down, brushed through the top of the second last.
Cloudy Dream went on approaching the final fence, however, Buveur D’Air, a Grade 1 novice hurdle winner last season, responded well to Aidan Coleman’s pressure and with the final fence safely negotiated, and in receipt of 8 pounds, lengthened to beat Cloudy Dream by a classy three lengths, with Chic Name running well in third.
The Nicky Henderson trained 5 year old Buveur D’Air was beaten just once over hurdles last season, when third to Altior and Min in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He joins those two among the novice chasing ranks this winter and on the strength of this performance, his first run since April, he looks a leading player.
Coleman said: “He’s obviously got a lot of ability and talent. It was a lovely race to ride in.
“The third horse (Chic Name) isn’t bad and the second horse had a good level of form so it was a very good race to start him off.
“He seemed to enjoy it and I enjoyed it anyway. Hopefully, he can build on it.
“He was straightforward and, from my point of view, it was just an enjoyable experience.
“I’m very happy with him.”
Jefferson said of Cloudy Dream: “We were giving him 8lb and he was a better horse than us over hurdles. We wouldn’t be disappointed at all.
“Our horse is better on better ground anyway and he could do with a better gallop.
“He’ll have January off now and I’ll freshen him up.
“At least we got more experience into him, which is the most important thing, and he’s come back safe and sound.
“We’ll have to see whether we stick him to two miles or step him up in trip.”