Nicky Henderson believes Epatante can show her defeat at Cheltenham Festival was a one-off
- Epatante suffered a surprise defeat in the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
- Since then she has secured impressive victories at Newbury and Kempton
- The six-year-old set to line up in the Unibet Champion Hurdle next month
Trainer Nicky Henderson believes Epatante will show she is not just a flat-track specialist at Cheltenham next month when she lines up in the Unibet Champion Hurdle.
The six-year-old suffered a surprise defeat when favourite for the 2019 Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle but will head to the Festival as 3-1 Champion Hurdle favourite after storming home in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Henderson blames the Flu vaccination Epatante had to have after the outbreak of Equine Flu for her below par run.
Epatante out to show she is more than just a flat-track specialist in the Champion Hurdle
Henderson said: ‘Last year there were four or five that didn’t turn up like they should have done and I would have said with all of them it was probably flu vaccinations. I would think she fell into the same square.
‘At this time last year she was one of our best chances. I don’t think it was the course.’
Henderson could have five runners in the Champion Hurdle with Call Me Lord, Fusil Raffles, Pentland Hills and Verdana Blue also possible runners.
Meanwhile, FRANKIE DETTORI will have his first ride of the year in Britain when he rides John Gosden’s Dubai Warrior in the Winter Derby at Lingfield on Saturday.