Epatante To Take On Constitution Hill Again In Christmas Hurdle

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing


Nicky Henderson's stable stars Epatante and Constitution Hill will do battle for the second time this season on Boxing Day at Kempton with the mare being rerouted here after Cheltenham's International Hurdle was cancelled due to frost.

A top class animal during her career winning multiple Grade One events during her career including the Champion Hurdle, 2x Fighting Fifth Hurdles, 2x Christmas Hurdles and her latest victory in the Aintree Hurdle.

Back to her best last season when dead heating in the Fighting Fifth but then pulverising the field in the Christmas Hurdle, she was then primed for the Champion Hurdle and finished a superb second behind the Queen Honeysuckle.

Sent up in trip to 2m4f at Aintree, she revelled in the step up to land the Aintree Hurdle with any amount in hand and she then rounded off the season at Punchestown in the Grade One Mares Champion Hurdle, when maybe the runs caught up with her and she finished a narrow third to stablemate Marie's Rock.

Sent back to the Fighting Fifth looking for a third straight win in the race she would have landed the event if not for her freak stablemate Constitution Hill who beat her by 12 lengths.

Epatante herself pulled clear of the third Not So Sleepy and although it looks a tough task to reverse the form she does know how to win this race.

“I would think there is every possibility she will run in the Christmas Hurdle,” Henderson told the Nick Luck Daily Podcast.

“We haven’t finalised plans and there is another idea but the plan is to run at Christmas in the Christmas Hurdle – we have no other option.

“It’s the way of the world and it is very sad we can’t reschedule the race (International). It’s all very well taking him (Constitution Hill) on but if you can appreciate it, it is hardly ideal.”