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Buveur D'Air rebounds with Punchestown triumph under Davy Russell

JP McManus’ top-class hurdler reversed the Aintree placings with Supasundae at the Kildare venue.

Davy Russell pictured after his victory in the Champion Hurdle on Buveur D’Air today at Punchestown.
Davy Russell pictured after his victory in the Champion Hurdle on Buveur D’Air today at Punchestown.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

TWO-TIME CHELTENHAM Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D’Air got his career back on track with a convincing victory in Punchestown’s Betdaq Champion Hurdle under Davy Russell, who deputised for the injured Mark Walsh.

British trainer Nicky Henderson’s eight-year-old was an early faller at Cheltenham in March before finishing second to Supasundae, trained by Jessica Harrington, in the Aintree Hurdle last month.

However, JP McManus’ top-class hurdler reversed the Liverpool placings with Supasundae at the Kildare venue, which will surely lead to an interesting conversation tonight in the Harrington household where Henderson is staying during the Punchestown festival.

Buveur D’Air’s regular rider Barry Geraghty is on the sidelines since breaking his leg on the eve of the Aintree Grand National and substitute Mark Walsh was stood down for the day after being brought down in a nasty spill just over an hour before his Grade 1 assignment.

Grand National-winning rider David Mullins was ruled out of the day’s racing after falling in the same incident and Rachael Blackmore also missed her intended rides after taking a heavy fall in the following race.

Dr Jennifer Pugh of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board said: “Rachael Blackmore is fully conscious and has been taken to hospital as precaution for observation. Mark Walsh has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken right tibia. David Mullins has been stood down as he is sore following his fall.”

One jockey enjoying a far better week is Robbie Power, and he added a second Grade 1 prize to his festival tally when the British-trained Reserve Tank dug deep to land the Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle for Colin Tizzard.

The Summerhill, County Meath rider partnered the highly impressive Chacun Pour Soi to victory in yesterday’s Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase but was needed at his brilliant best this afternoon to repel the challenge of Davy Russell on Sam’s Profile, notching his fourth festival winner of the week.

Class came to the fore in the EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase as joint-top weight Real Steel ran out a convincing winner under Paul Townend for Willie Mullins, avoided much of the drama in-running.

Cloughjordan’s Denis Hogan enjoyed his best day in the saddle yet as Moyhenna produced a gutsy performance to win the €75,000 Glencarraig Lady Francis Flood Mares Handicap Chase at Punchestown.

Hogan, who trains and rides the Robert Hennelly-owned seven-year-old, was always towards the head of affairs and his mount found plenty when joined in the straight to run out a four-and-a-half-length winner at odds of 5-1.

– Mark Boylan, for more visit the Racing Post  

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