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Nicky Henderson: “Punchestown should really suit Epatante”

April 29, 2021January 7th, 2022

PUNCHESTOWN

5:25 G1 Irish Champion Hurdle

Epatante (Mark Walsh)

She has arrived safely in Ireland and travelled well, eaten and drunk well which is always very important and I’m told she is in very good form. I’ve got to say we have been very pleased with the way she’s been working the last few weeks and I have reason for optimism that we can at least get closer to Honeysuckle than we did at Cheltenham in the Unibet Champion Hurdle because I felt on the day she probably deserved to get second, although third was where we ultimately finished. I do think we can get closer this time because the advantage we may have is that Punchestown is a much easier track and each day the track moves in and in so by Friday we are on quite a tight inside track which should play to our strengths because Epatante definitely has more speed than stamina and I think Honeysuckle has more stamina than speed and you could say the same with Abracadabras who won over two and a half at Aintree when he beat our horse Buzz and Buveur D’Air, who I actually thought was very unlucky, but that’s by the by! There are other possibilities in the race too; it’s very competitive as it should be, but we go over there with optimism and really thinking that she is in good form and hopefully we can fly the British flag before she heads off to Martinstown for her holidays.