Henderson tempted by Christmas Hurdle for Epatante

Impressive Newbury winner could enter Kempton calculations.

  • Friday 06 December
  • News
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Epatante could have her big-race credentials tested in the Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

The mare, who disappointed at the Cheltenham Festival in March, looked an exciting prospect when winning under Aidan Coleman at Newbury last weekend.

Returning to action in what appeared to be a competitive limited handicap, the JP McManus-owned mare turned it into a procession, sprinting clear to win by six lengths.

“I thought about it (Christmas Hurdle) in my sleep and JP rang me the next day,” said Henderson.

“He said, ‘is this silly, would you ever think about the Christmas Hurdle?’, and I said, ‘that is what I was thinking about in the middle of the night’.

“We’ve both thought about it independently and of course there is no Buveur D’Air. It’s possible, as she went up 13lb.

“It still leaves her way below the form required for a Christmas Hurdle, but she was impressive and looks fantastic and appears to have come out of it well.

“She would enjoy the ground round there and has the pace to travel. If it closed tomorrow she would be in it. She is in the Ascot race (Betfair Exchange Trophy) as well. It’s a very valuable handicap with a lot of prize-money.

“I thought she was one of our best chances at Cheltenham in the mares’ race, so we must have thought a bit of her then. Maybe it is her coming to fruition as well. “

Henderson also had news of exciting novice chaser Angels Breath who made a winning debut over the bigger obstacles at Ascot.

He said: “There is Cheltenham next weekend and that is a possibility. I’d like to stay at about two and a half miles. He loves soft ground, so there are no worries about that. He was very good on debut at Ascot. “

Henderson tempted by Christmas Hurdle for Epatante
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