Dual champion Buveur D’Air was a hugely impressive winner of the BetVictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
Nicky Henderson’s seven-year-old handed out an eight-length beating to Irish challenger Samcro, who was backed into 6-5 favourite marginally ahead of him but in the end was no match for the Barry Geraghty-ridden winner.
Buveur D’Air has therefore taken his unbeaten run to 11, dating back to April 2016 and including the last two editions of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Henderson was a nervous onlooker from Newbury, where he said: “I think it was relief more than anything. After the bloody nose with Might Bite (Betfair Chase) last Saturday, I was prepared for a second one.
“That was an incredible performance. He doesn’t make mistakes, then he makes one at the last, but he picked up. There is so much more improvement in him.