IN SUMMARY: It’s impossible to look past the 2017 Champion Hurdler BUVEUR D’AIR, who romped home in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle on his return and will be looking to take this race with authority. He holds The New One on various clashes last season and shouldn’t have to work hard in dispatching that rival once again. Of Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge, he looks to be the forecast option as he stamped his superiority on Old Guard in the International Hurdle when last seen.
1 BUVEUR D’AIR – 2017 Champion Hurdle winner who returned this season when cantering to victory at Newcastle in the Fighting Fifth. He has readily accounted for The New One previously who looks his only real danger and he should win this comfortably on his way to the Festival.
2 CHESTERFIELD – Won the Scottish Champion Hurdle back in April but that is a handicap contest and the merit of the form in this company can easily be questioned. He looks completely out of his depth and shouldn’t be good enough.
3 MOHAAYED – Useful hurdler in his own right but he faces an uphill task here against rivals much better than he’s used to facing. He was well beaten by both Old Guard and The New One in the Greatwood and he needs plenty more than what he showed at Doncaster latest. Looks booked for a struggle.
4 OLD GUARD – Has some smart form in the book including an International Hurdle win but in that same race he was well held by The New One ten days ago. At this stage of his career he seems to want more of a test and he looks vulnerable at this distance against two horses who are simply better.
5 THE NEW ONE – Smart on his day for Nigel Twiston-Davies but he’s never quite cut it at the highest level, last seen finishing second in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham. He holds Old Guard on that form and is the main danger to Buveur D’Air, but he needs that rival to massively under-perform if he’s to be anywhere close to him.