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Cheltenham Festival 2020: Epatante heads 19 horses still in contention for Tuesday’s Champion Hurdle

, Cheltenham Festival 2020: Epatante heads 19 horses still in contention for Tuesday’s Champion Hurdle

ANTEPOST favourite Epatante heads 19 confirmations for Tuesday’s Champion Hurdle.

The Nicky Henderson-trained mare has been off the track since winning the Christmas Hurdle on Boxing Day.

Epatante heads 19 confirmations for the Champion Hurdle

And she had a health scare last week when her trainer revealed she had been suffering from a cough.

However, she is still the 7-2 jolly with Betfair and will face a maximum of 18 rivals after the field was whittled down at the five-day stage.

Cilaos Emery was the only horse supplemented, with the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old successfully reverting to hurdles at Gowran last month.

Mullins also has Sharjah in contention for the Festival’s first-day showpiece, while Pentland Hills, Call Me Lord, Fusil Raffles and Verdana Blue complete Henderson’s five-strong team.

Henry De Bromhead has left in Irish Champion Hurdle heroine Honeysuckle, though she is expected to run in the Mares’ Hurdle instead.

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Darver Star and Petit Mouchoir, who were second and third respectively to Honeysuckle at Leopardstown, stand their ground.

Evan Williams’ Silver Streak is set to try again after finishing third at odds of 80-1 last year, while Micky Hammond’s surprise Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner Cornerstone Lad is also in the mix.

Completing the potential line-up are Ballyandy, Coeur Sublime, Darasso, Gumball, Le Patriote, Not So Sleepy and Supasundae.

Elsewhere, 22 runners stand their ground for the Supreme.

The runners are headed by Shishkin and Asterion Forlonge, both owned by Joe Donnelly.

A total of 15 are still in contention for the Arkle, including market leaders Notebook and Cash Back.

And Benie Des Dieux and Honeysuckle remain on course for their Mares’ Hurdle clash, with 15 runners still in contention.

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