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2019 Tattersalls Mares' Novices' Hurdle - Henderson's 9/4 chance can end Mullins' mares' novice hurdle dominance

Brian Healy in Tips 14 Mar 2019

Brian Healy casts his eye over the potential big race field for the Tattersalls Mares' Novices' Hurdle; find out why he is siding with Nicky Henderson's Epatante to end Willie Mullins' dominance of this race.

Race six on the third day of the Cheltenham Fesival is the Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, a Grade Two contest over 2m 1f and also referred to as the Dawn Run Mares’ Hurdle.

A new race on the Cheltenham Festival roster, Willie Mullins has won all three renewals of this contest to date with Limini, Let’s Dance and Laurina all taking top honours for the County Carlow trainer.

Getting underway at 4.50pm as the penultimate race of the day, the 2m 1f contest boasts a first prize in excess of £50,000 and a maximum field of 22 runners will face the starters’ tapes for this competitive Grade Two contest.

The race has had some of its’ lustre taken away when Henry De Bromhead ruled out his rising star Honeysuckle from the race, leaving EPATANTE (9/4, Ladbrokes) as the likeliest winner, and Nicky Henderson’s charge can end Willie Mullins’ dominance of this race with another success.

The No Risk At All Mare was very smart in France, winning twice in bumpers which included in a Grade One at Saint Cloud where she ran out a three lengths’ winner over Eveiduboulay, after which he was bought by JP McManus and sent to Seven Barrows.

Nicky Henderson's Epatante can win the mares' novices' hurdle.


2-2 over hurdles, scoring at Kempton in November and then following up three months later at Exeter, he looked a star in the making in the latter when beating Makety by almost four lengths. She travelled really well throughout that contest, only needing to be pushed out when sent to the front two hurdles from home and she won unextended with her head in her chest.

She looked a potentially top-class prospect, and sure to have further improvement to come she could prove a tough nut to crack despite some very promising rivals in opposition. However, she gets a handy weight allowance which sees her get 5lbs from the likes of Posh Trish and Sancta Simona, and she could take full advantage of that concession to extend her unbeaten record over hurdles to three from three.

Her top yard have been in good form at the Festival with three winners across the first two day's racing, and while this is obviously a tougher test of her talents, she could prove equal to the task and she is a very exciting prospect who could easily have more to offer, with a first-time hood now applied which could help bring about another jolt of progress.

2019 TATTERSALLS MARES’ NOVICE HURDLE - EPATANTE (9/4, Ladbrokes)

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2019 Tattersalls Mares' Novices' Hurdle - Henderson's 9/4 chance can end Mullins' mares' novice hurdle dominance

Brian Healy casts his eye over the potential big race field for the Tattersalls Mares' Novices' Hurdle; find out why he is siding with Nicky Henderson's Epatante to end Willie Mullins' dominance of this race.

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