Trainer Nicky Henderson has confirmed Champion Hurdle favourite Epatante remains on course for Cheltenham, despite fitness concerns.
The JP McManus-owned six-year-old had been coughing up over recent days, but Henderson confirmed on Thursday that no cause could be found after her blood tests came back fine.
Henderson went on to reveal that Epatante is now on medication and will be reassessed at the start of next week, but the signs were all positive on Friday, as he confirmed the mare appears to have stopped coughing altogether.
"I can tell you Epatante didn't cough today. That is the official line today," Henderson was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
"We are forced to say these things before somebody gets it out - and then it's headline news. Unfortunately, we have to say it before it leaks out and it is drifting (in the market). You virtually have to let everyone know before she has even coughed!
"But that's what they are making you do. She has not coughed this morning and we are all on course (for Cheltenham)."
Eptante can be found as short as 7/2 with some bookmakers to win the Champion Hurdle at next month's Festival where Benie Des Dieux and Pentland Hills are expected to be among his main rivals.
Article Posted on Friday 28th February 2020 @ 17.10
Join BTO Today!
Create your FREE BTO account to get 1
LOGIN or Create an Account