Epatante faces big test in Christmas Hurdle after Fighting Fifth Hurdle win.

By Andrew Atkinson

Champion Hurdler Epatante – winner of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November – is set to run in the Ladbrokes Hurdle (Grade 1) on Boxing Day.

“She is all set to go – this was always the route we’ve intended to take,” said trainer Nicky Henderson.

“Touch wood, things are going well with her and we’ve had a good preparation,” said Henderson.

“She has had her medical check and everything is fine. We’re following the same route as last year. If all goes well on Saturday then she won’t run again before Cheltenham in March,” added Henderson.

Epatante goes to post facing leading contenders Goshen, Sceau Royal and Silver Streak in the six-runners Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle.

“Every race is a test and she has to come through this challenge. There is a lot at stake,” said Henderson.

The going at Kempton Park is good to soft, good in places heading up to the weekend. With rain forecast conditions could be good to soft, soft in places for the Ladbrokes Christmas Festival two-day meetings.

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