Unibet International Hurdle
Grade 2, Cheltenham 15:00
£130,000 guaranteed,
4yo plus,
2m 179y, Class 1  
Saturday 10th December 2022 - Abandoned


Epatante makes a swift return to action, having proved no match for stable companion Constitution Hill on her latest appearance.

The JP McManus-owned mare, who counts the 2020 Champion Hurdle and two Christmas Hurdles on her illustrious CV, was bidding for a Fighting Fifth hat-trick at Newcastle last month but was blown away by Constitution Hill, with 12 lengths separating the pair at the line.

Connections had the option of again waiting for the Christmas Hurdle on Boxing Day, but that would likely mean a rematch with her fellow Nicky Henderson inmate.

Frank Berry, the owner’s racing manager, said: “I haven’t spoken to Nicky today, but he’s made an entry for her in Cheltenham, so he’ll see how she is during the week and take it from there.”

Epatante is one of a field of five, with Henderson also represented by recent Newbury scorer First Street.

Paul Nicholls will saddle Knappers Hill, who registered his fourth successive victory in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last month.

Nigel Twiston-Davies won the International Hurdle for the fifth time with Guard Your Dreams last season and has another major contender in I Like To Move It – winner of the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham four weeks ago.

Denis Hogan’s Zoffanien is the other hopeful.

Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2)
£130,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m 179y, Class 1
5 runners
Going: Good

1 011-11 Knappers Hill 6 11-8 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden
2 1325-1 First Street 5 11-6 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
3 1520-1 I Like To Move It 5 11-6 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies
4 0-7105 Zoffanien 5 11-2 Denis Gerard Hogan Daniel King
5 121-32 Epatante 8 11-1 Nicky Henderson Aidan Coleman