Brain Power: “According to ratings he’s better than Buveur D’Air”
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By Andrew Dietz 7:00PM 5 FEB 2017
NICKY HENDERSON liked what he saw from Buveur D’Air at Sandown on Saturday but warned not to forget about his other leading Stan James Champion Hurdle candidate Brain Power.
While Buveur D’Air did his festival prospects no harm with a slick return to hurdles, Brain Power was left grounded at Seven Barrows after being pulled out of the Betfred-sponsored Listed Contenders Hurdle at the final declaration stage.
Speaking after Buveur D’Air’s victory, Henderson said: “Brain Power is very much in the picture, he didn’t come here today because I was frightened of the ground. Until yesterday morning they were both going to run.
“It’s given Buveur D’Air a nice easy race but I have no hesitation in thinking Brain Power would have done the same thing. According to ratings he’s a better horse.”
Buveur D’Air was cut to a general 4-1 (from 6) – with Betfair Sportsbook offering a standout 5-1 – while Brain Power, who has landed two competitive handicaps this season in the manner of a big improver, can be backed at 10-1.
Considering pre-festival options for Brain Power, Henderson added: “You’ve only got Kelso and Wincanton left and I don’t want to drag him through a bog. He’s in top form, he’s been doing it all really well, he worked beautifully with Altior this morning and they were great.”
Faugheen, who won the Champion Hurdle in 2015, heads the market at a best-priced 5-2, but has not run since winning the Irish Champion Hurdle over a year ago.