A PARTICULARLY striking performance by the Nicky Henderson-trained Buzz, has earmarked this talented grey horse for a tilt in the Betfair Hurdle, which is likely to be his next outing.
Buzz finished third on his first outing of the season in the Welsh Champion Hurdle behind Sceau Royal. That was an impressive performance itself, but he went on to clock up an easy win at Ascot in November, when he won the race by seven lengths.
Although he was given an 11lb weight rise for that impessive victory he returned to Ascot four weeks later to contest the Betfair Exchange Trophy and finished runner-up to the winner that day- Not So Sleepy- who was receiving 6lb .
The grey finished third on his first outing of the season in the Welsh Champion Hurdle behind Sceau Royal, before bolting up at Ascot in November by seven lengths.
Raised 11lb for that success, he went back to Ascot a month later for the Betfair Exchange Trophy and beat all bar a rejuvenated Not So Sleepy, who was receiving 6lb and won the race for the second year in succession.
“The irony of his last run was that we were beaten by a horse trained by Hughie Morrison – who we bought Buzz off! I don’t think Buzz really saw the winner on the other side of the course, but our horse ran a blinder off top-weight!”
“We’ll keep an eye on everything. It’s unlikely to dry out too much, but he does like soft ground. Top-weights don’t have a great record in the race – which is something else to consider.”
Stafford is mindful of a proliferation of dangerous opponents in what is always a hugely competitive race.
“You usually want to be a novice on the up,I suppose the ones who have stuck out so far have been Cadzand, who was impressive at Kempton, and maybe Llandinabo Lad. Of course there’s the Tolworth winner (Metier) too, who could run – so there are plenty to be wary of.”
“We could use a conditional to take some weight off – but I haven’t discussed that with Nicky yet. I think there’s a fair chance he’ll run, though.”