Trainer Nicky Henderson was delighted after seeing Buveur D'Air rise to the challenge at Cheltenham and win the Champion Hurdle for the second year in a row.
Having gone off as favourite with most pundits, Henderson's charge was made to fight all the way to claim victory, eventually edging out Melon by a neck, with Mick Jazz a further three lengths back in third.
That was the first time he's had to put his head down and fight.Barry Geraghty
And Henderson was both relieved and happy with the final outcome, as he told ITV Sport: "They went off at some gallop, you couldn't believe that they would keep that up the whole way, but they did.
"Buveur D'Air has been winning races by large margins all season and that was the first race he has been in. He has not had to knuckle down so far, but that is job done.
"He is a young horse and has done everything right so far. That was a big relief - we were expected to collect and he did."
Meanwhile, jockey Barry Geraghty was full of praise for his mount, adding: "It was a proper race. I thought the runner-up was coming to beat me, but my horse is as tough as nails and he dug deep.
"That was the first time he's had to put his head down and fight. He won it the hard way, he battled hard."
Buveur D'Air is now 9/4 to win a third Champion Hurdle next year, with Melon priced at 20/1 and Summerville Boy available at 999/1.
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