Cheltenham Festival 2019: Dual winner Buveur D'Air heads 27 entries for the Champion Hurdle

Nicky Henderson's hurdler is the 5-4 favourite for the feature race on day one of the Festival – but he must bounce back from a shock defeat at Kempton last time out.

Sent off the 1-4 favourite for the Christmas Hurdle, the JP McManus-owned hurdler was downed by stablemate Verdana Blue in a thrilling finish.

Henderson's mare is in contention to do battle with Buveur D'Air once again as she is one of six possible contenders for the Seven Barrows handler.

Brain Power, Charli Parcs, Call Me Lord and We Have A Dream complete Henderson's possibilities.

Ireland are well represented in the race with Closutton maestro Willie Mullins holding five entries.

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His team includes star mare Laurina along with Cilaos Emery, Melon, Saldier and Sharjah.

Irish title rival Gordon Elliott holds four entries with Apple's Jade top of the pile. Samcro – who has flopped so far this season – is a possibility along with Farclas and Tombstone.

The Irish chances are completed by Henry de Bromhead's Petit Mouchoir, Gavin Cromwell's Espoir D'Allen and Jessica Harrington's Supasundae.

Dan Skelton has two chances, with Ch'tibello and Mohaayed in with a shout while Colin Tizzard has given Pingshou and Vision Des Flos the option.

Warren Greatrex's Western Ryder, Sophie Leech's Men Of Plenty, Ben Pauling's Global Citizen, Nigel Twiston-Davies' Wholestone and Evan Williams' Silver Streak complete the 27 initial entries.

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