Buveur D’Air will face a maximum of six rivals when he bids for a third victory in the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
Nicky Henderson’s dual Champion Hurdle hero has made a successful start to his season in the Gosforth Park Grade One in each of the past two seasons and will be a warm order to complete the hat-trick on Saturday.
Should the JP McManus-owned eight-year-old prevail, he will become only the third three-times winner of the Fighting Fifth after Comedy Of Errors (1972, 1973 and 1974) and Birds Nest (1976, 1977 and 1979).
Buveur D’Air’s chief threat appears to be the Evan Williams-trained Silver Streak. The grey finished third in last season’s Champion Hurdle – in which Buveur D’Air was an early faller – and made a winning reappearance at Kempton last month.
Phil Kirby could saddle his high-class mare Lady Buttons after she notched a 13th career win in a Listed event at Wetherby last time.
The potential line-up is completed by Cool Mix (Iain Jardine), Cornerstone Lad (Micky Hammond), Nelson River (Tony Carroll) and Zambella (Nigel Twiston-Davies).