Dual champion Buveur D'Air battled past Samcro on Saturday to win the BetVictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
The seven-year-old went into the race as one of the best hurdlers in the world although many sceptics claimed Irish challenger Samcro would prove too much.
Gordon Elliott's stable star was the 6-5 favourite but Buveur D'Air put him back in his place, with Barry Geraghty on board.
Buveur D'Air is now unbeaten in 11 races and Nicky Henderson was happy to see his charge come through unscathed.
He told reporters: "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.
"I thought it was very smooth and slick. He looked like a true champion. He is what he is - a two-time Champion Hurdle winner. Some people haven't rated him as a dual Champion Hurdle winner - I think today those are two good horses.
"He wasn't at his best in last year's Champion Hurdle, he didn't go to Aintree or anywhere else after it, it knocked him around. I don't think he was right at the time and it's great to see him come back and do that."
Article Posted on Saturday 1st December 2018 @ 15.34
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