8th February 2021
HONEYSUCKLE won the Irish Champion Hurdle, blitzing the field under Rachael Blackmore. In turn, she was slashed for the Champion Hurdle, with connections now surely likely to go down that route, such was the manner of her victory. As big as 10/1 for the feature race on the opening day of the Festival, the superstar mare is now joint-favourite with EPATANTE for the Champion Hurdle. A best price of 5/2 is available on Honeysuckle. Henry De Bromhead’s mare is now 10W 10R.
1st February 2021
EPATANTE has been treated for a back problem following her shock defeat at Kempton. Nicky Henderson, the reigning champion hurdler’s trainer said: “No (she won’t run before Cheltenham), that’s an easy answer. She didn’t last year and she won’t this year,” Henderson told ITV’s The Opening Show. “We’re very pleased. We’ve been tinkering, obviously she wasn’t right at Kempton. It was her back, more than anything, I think, and that is what we have been trying to sort out – hopefully we have. It’s just got her more relaxed in her back and more supple. Something was agitating her on the day.” Currently 9/4 Fav (2/1 NRNB)