• Last-time winners do best
  • Run within past 50 days is a plus
  • Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins the key trainers
  • Placed horses from last year are worth a look
  • Stick with proven Grade 1 winners

IT’S rare for the trends to quickly close in on just one horse in a 17-runner race but that’s the case with EPATANTE.

There are a couple of key stats boxes that only Nicky Henderson’s hopeful can tick.

Firstly she is the only horse in the contest that is unbeaten this season. That is an amazing stat as these are meant to be the top hurdlers on either side of the Irish Sea.

Secondly, she is one of only THREE horses in the line-up that won last time out. Another indication that this isn’t a vintage Champion Hurdle.

She meets the other big trend in having won a Grade 1 contest — the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park.

There is just one negative and that’s her poor show in the Mares’ Novice Hurdle at last year’s Festival.

Henderson is adamant she was feeling the effects of her flu jab that day.

Looking for one at an each-way price that ticks plenty of trends boxes, stablemate Call Me Lord won the Grade 2 International Hurdle here before Christmas and course form is important. He could hit the frame at around 20-1.


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