Navajo Pass upsets Buveur D’Air at Haydock

Former champion has to settle for runner-up spot on first start in 14 months.

Navajo Pass inflicted a surprise defeat on the returning Buveur D’Air in Haydock’s The New One Unibet Hurdle.

Donald McCain’s winner was sent off the 4-1 outsider of three to beat dual Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D’Air and Ballyandy – who took this Grade Two 12 months ago.

But forceful tactics paid off as Navajo Pass led from the outset and kept enough in reserve to see off Buveur D’Air, who challenged after the last hurdle but could not reel in his rival and had to settle for a four-and-a-quarter length second.

Sent off the 8-11 favourite, Nicky Henderson’s Buveur D’Air was having his first run in 14 months, since suffering an injury that required surgery when also beaten at short odds in the 2019 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.

Bookmaker reaction to his comeback defeat saw his ante-post price for this year’s Champion Hurdle double from 10-1 to 20-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power.

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