Aidan Coleman is set to be given the ride on dual Grade One winner Epatante for her seasonal debut in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle on Saturday week.
With Barry Geraghty retiring last season, JP McManus is on the hunt for a new retained rider in the UK and having used Aidan Coleman freuqently over the last few years it is no surprise to see him given the chance to reunite with Epatante.
The pair teamed up together on her first start last term when winning the Intermediate Hurdle at Newbury and off the back of that the mare went on to land the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival under Geraghty.
Trainer Nicky Henderson gave his six year old an outing at Newbury on Tuesday morning, with the mare running upside Altior, blowing the cobwebs away ahead of her intended run at Newcastle and her handler was very impressed.
(Credit ATR) “Aidan Coleman will ride Epatante at Newcastle. It’s part of the plan, because Nico will be here,” said Henderson.
“Aidan was due to be here this morning, but unfortunately we were told yesterday that jockeys couldn’t ride at a race meeting and here.
“JP has got a lot of horses, and Aidan is going to be riding a few of them – there is no particular retained jockey in this country.
“He won the Gerry Feilden on her last year, so he has ridden her before.”