Aidan Coleman steps in for the ride on returning Epatante

Champion Hurdle winner is odds-on to make a successful return to action at Newcastle

Aidan Coleman riding Epatante to win at Newbury last year. File photograph: Getty Images

Aidan Coleman riding Epatante to win at Newbury last year. File photograph: Getty Images

 

JP McManus’s Champion Hurdle winner Epatante is odds-on to make a successful return to action on Saturday.

The mare who gave her owner a record ninth Champion Hurdle victory at Cheltenham in March will face a maximum of nine rivals in the Betfair Fighting Fifth at Newcastle.

Barry Geraghty’s retirement means Aidan Coleman steps in for the ride on Epatante, the Cork born jockey having partnered her to win at Newbury almost exactly a year ago.

Epatante is a general 4-7 favourite to get her season off to a successful start in a race where last year’s surprise winner Cornerstone Lad is set to defend his crown. Cornerstone Lad upset McManus’s hot-favourite Buvuer D’Air in 2019. The third that day, Silver Streak, could also line up this weekend.

However it is Sceau Royal, winner of the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las last time, who is rated a 6-1 second favourite by most firms.

Tuesday’s Irish action takes place at Punchestown where the stalwart banks performer Josies Orders is one of three McManus runners in the Ballymore Risk Of Thunder Chase.

Enda Bolger, who rode the Sean Connery owned Risk Of Thunder to some of his greatest victories around the banks course, saddles the McManus trio.

However local trainer Peter Maher numerically edges his rival with four starters and Jamie Codd looks a significant booking for the veteran Ballyboker Bridge.

Colreevy, the 2018 Champion Bumper winner at the 2018 Punchestown festival, lines up in a hot-looking novice chase where Thatsy will try to go one better than his last run at Galway.

Julies Stowaway can boast some high class bumper form and may be hard to beat in a maiden hurdle.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.