Buveur d'Air is to skip the chance to complete a hat-trick of Champion Hurdle wins at Cheltenham.
The back-to-back winner in 2017 and 2018 has been withdrawn from the race by trainer Nicky Henderson.
The decision to pull Buveur d'Air from Cheltenham follows discussions with the horse's owner, JP McManus.
Henderson revealed the news on Twitter on the eve of the festival.
Having discussed plans with JP over the weekend we have decided that Buveur D’Air will NOT run @CheltenhamRaces and instead will wait for @AintreeRaces
The extra distance will suit him well. He and Epatante are in very good form and we are very much looking forward to next week
— Nicky Henderson (@sevenbarrows) March 8, 2021
Buveur d'Air is instead to be entered in the Grade 1 Betway Aintree Hurdle on April 8. The 2m4f race is one he claimed during a sparkling spring of 2017.
The Seven Barrows trainer said, "The extra distance will suit him well. He and Epatante are in very good form and we are very much looking forward to next week."
Buveur d'Air had been priced at 22-1 to complete the Champion Hurdle hat-trick this week, having placed second in January's Unibet Hurdle at Haydock in January - a race won by Navajo Pass.
As mentioned by Henderson, Epatante is strongly favoured to repeat last year's success in the Champion Hurdle. Only the Henry de Bromhead-trained Honeysuckle is at shorter odds.
Liverpool’s title defence, Pro14 merits and the future of the Lions tour