Nicky Henderson says Epatante’s next test should be the Christmas Hurdle, after another victory in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.
The Champion Hurdle winner stayed out of trouble in what was an eventful race, with Not So Sleepy unseating rider Paddy Brennan approaching the first flight which caused issues for some of the field.
But Epatante, with Aidan Coleman on board, impressed again and eventually went on to win the Grade 1 contest by four-and-a-half lengths, making it four hurdle victories on the bounce for the six-year-old.
Trainer Henderson admitted afterwards: “It’s relief as much as anything, but it shows that there was no fluke about everything she did last year.
“I thought she was great, she’s a proper hurdler. The great thing about her is that she can go to sleep then you press her button and off she goes.”
Henderson then confirmed that the plan for Epatante is to head to Kempton for the Christmas Hurdle on Boxing Day, looking to win the race she was victorious in by five lengths last year.