Grand National Festival: Buveur D’air can come out on Top in Novices’ Hurdle
David Metcalf | April 7, 2016
Buveur D’air can topple Limini in Top Novices’ Hurdle
Buveur D’air has a progressive profile and can get the better of Limini to land the Grade 1 Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree (14.15).
The Nicky Henderson trained gelding was a smart bumper performer, and won his first two starts over hurdles this season in impressive fashion.
In the first of those at Newbury he travelled ominously well throughout, and showed a smart turn of foot to slam the well regarded Wait For Me by 11 lengths on the bridle.
Supreme form strong
Buveur D’air then had little difficulty landing a minor contest at Huntingdon, before posting a cracking effort to finish third of 14 to Altior in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.
After being held-up well off the pace, the five-year-old made stealthy headway three from home to be on the heels of the leaders rounding the home turn.
Buveur D’air then got slightly outpaced before keeping on nicely to be beaten 8 1/2 lengths in what was a strong renewal of the 2m contest.
It was an effort which suggested there was even better to come, and the son of Crillon looks the type who will appreciate the return to a flatter track.
Limini has lots more to offer
Limini is unbeaten in three starts over the obstacles and looks a massive danger judged on her success in the mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The five-year-old was a smart performer on the level in France and won on the bridle on hurdles debut at Punchestown last May, after joining leading Irish trainer Willie Mullins.
Limini then overcame a lengthy absence to win by a wide margin at Fairyhouse on seasonal reappearance, cruising clear in the manner of a high class prospect.
Cheltenham success oozed class
The daughter of Peintre Celebre then confirmed she was well-above average when toying with the opposition at Cheltenham.
Limini jumped far slicker than in her previous starts, and after travelling strongly on the heels of the leaders quickened smartly after being produced at the last to win easily by 4 1/2 lengths.
It was a most taking performance, but the form of the race is nowhere near as strong as the Supreme which Buveur D’air contested and this represents a huge step up in class for Limini.
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