Noel Fehily in line for Festival reunion with Buveur D’Air

Jockey Noel Fehily may get the ride on Buveur D'Air at the Cheltenham Festival. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Jockey Noel Fehily may get the ride on Buveur D'Air at the Cheltenham Festival. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
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Nicky Henderson has raised the possibility of Noel Fehily being reunited with Buveur D’Air in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Although riding arrangements have yet to be decided, the Seven Barrows trainer may call upon the services of Fehily, who has ridden the six-year-old in six of his 11 career starts, should Barry Geraghty elect to partner Yanworth or My Tent Or Yours, who are also owned by JP McManus.

After a successful switch back to smaller obstacles in a Listed contest at Sandown, Buveur D’Air now heads the Champion Hurdle market with most firms to go two places better than in last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Henderson said: “With 
Barry, I should think it is between Buveur D’Air and Yanworth. He might surprise you and get on My Tent Or Yours. There is a possibility that Noel Fehily would ride Buveur D’Air in that he rode him all last year. Barry only sat on him virtually for the first time in his life at Sandown.

“There must be a possibility [of Fehily riding Buveur D’Air], but that’s up to Barry. The good thing is it is not a problem from my point of view. If Barry rides him, great. If he doesn’t, I don’t think we’ve got a problem.

“I’ve always thought he was a Champion Hurdle horse although he has been good over fences.”

Meanwhile, trainer Harry Fry is no closer to deciding which race his star youngster Neon Wolf will contest at the Festival.

The winner of an Irish point-to-point last spring, Neon Wolf made an impressive debut under Rules in a Uttoxeter bumper before a winning start to his hurdling career at Exeter on New Year’s Day.

The six-year-old maintained his unbeaten record in a trial for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock last month and could line up in the Supreme or the longer Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Prestbury Park.

“He’s very well and came out of that Haydock success in good order,” Fry said. “He’s got the entries at Cheltenham and we’ll wait until nearer the time before making up our mind which race to go for.

“Cheltenham do a good job watering but we’ve made no secret of the fact he’s a big, heavy unit and he wouldn’t want it to dry out too much.”