Epatante is back!

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The Nicky Henderson trained Epatante, who won the Unibet Champion Hurdle in 2020 before loosing her crown to Irish super star Honeysuckle in 2021, showed that she was still more than capable of producing a brilliant performance when she gave the mare a bit of a freight coming to the last in the 2022 edition of this 2m hurdle race. “For a tiny moment I thought she was going to get to her,” said Anne Doulce Lefeuvre, who bred Epatante together with her husband François-Xavier. “It is absolutely brilliant to see her come back to form, especially since we have a young novice from the same family who looks to be going the right way.” Epatante is by No Risk At All out of Kadjara and the youngster the Lefeuvre family is hoping to see do as well as Epatante goes by the lovely name of Joyeuse. Like Epatante she is by No Risk At All, but her dam is Virfolette who enjoyed a long career and is a winner over fences. “Joyeuse is the daughter of the sister to Kadjara,” explains Anne Doulce Lefeuvre. “We bought Kadjara from a trainer called Yves Lebon who had bought the mare for a client but who ended up selling her to us.” The Lefeuvre family came to Cheltenham the year when Epatante made a complete hash of the Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, but their two daughters were there when she won the Unibet Champion Hurdle. “It’s a shame we couldn’t be there today,” concludes Lefeuvre. “But we watched it all on Equidia and it was just super exciting. We are so proud to have bred a mare like her.”