20-1 to win at Cheltenham? Epatante’s half-sister to make hurdles bow at Taunton 👀

Epatante - Cheltenham Champion Hurdle 2020 (JG)

There’s one particularly interesting runner at Taunton on Monday, that could shake up the Cheltenham Festival picture. The horse in question is half-sister to Nicky Henderson’s Champion Hurdle-winner Epatante. She’s currently 20-1 for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March and is set to make her hurdles and stable debut. An impressive performance is sure to draw attention and the 20-1 may not last for much longer. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.

1.25 Taunton

Joyeuse was purchased by JP McManus for a whopping €235,000 in November 2022 and put into training with Nicky Henderson. One look at her pedigree will tell you why McManus went to such a big price to get her and chose Henderson to send her to.

She made a fine start to her career in France, winning a bumper over 1m4f as a three-year-old for Armand Lefeuvre and hasn’t been seen since. The second has boosted the form of that race by winning twice over hurdles since, including a Listed event at Auteuil.

Nicky Henderson has given her plenty of time to acclimatise and there should be no issues on that front. Epatante was a winner on hurdles debut and connections will be hoping that her half-sister can do the same here.

History tells us that Henderson isn’t too keen on over-facing his horses on their debuts and he appears to have found a particularly minor event to start Joyeuse off in here. It’s fair to assume that many will be expecting a big run from the five-year-old and it would frankly be a major disappointment if she fails to get the win.

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