Epatante Suffers Health Scare Ahead of Cheltenham Festival
Nicky Henderson has reported his star mare and ante-post favourite for the Unibet Champion Hurdle on day one of the Cheltenham Festival, Epatante is suffering from a cough, which he hopes will not interfere with her ability to race.
The untimely scare became apparent just 12 days before the meeting and is being monitored closely by the Seven Barrows stable team, with the trainer not yet ruling her out of the illustrious race.
Henderson said that there is “no obvious reason” as to where the cough came from. He went on to say: “Her blood tests are perfectly normal and she is feeling very well and fresh in herself. She’s fit as a flea.”
He also stated that the vets “will blood test and scope her again on Monday” which will put him in better stead to assess her health ahead of the race on Champion Day Tuesday.
Nicky’s dual winner Buveur D’Air is also out of the race at this time too, meaning it could be an easy ride for some of the more novice horses should Epatante’s health deteriorate. Henderson claims she’s the only horse in his stead suffering from the cough.
It’s a wait and see what happens next moment for now. Let’s hope she recovers quickly, the Cheltenham Festival roar is set to be unleashed in 10 days!