Structure Hill will face 4 rivals in Saturday’s Betfair Combating Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, reside on Sky Sports activities Racing.
Nicky Henderson’s star has been rerouted to the Grade One contest, the place he’ll tackle stablemate and two-time champion Epatante, after being withdrawn from final weekend’s Coral Hurdle at Ascot because of dry floor situations.
With Gordon Elliott’s Pied Piper as anticipated an absentee on the last declaration stage, the largest risks to the Henderson duo are more likely to be Hughie Morrison’s Not So Sleepy and the Ann Hamilton-trained Tommy’s Oscar.
Not So Sleepy has an fascinating historical past within the race, for in addition to dead-heating 12 months in the past he prompted fairly a little bit of havoc the 12 months earlier than as he jinked and unseated on the first, finishing up Silver Streak within the course of.
Tommy’s Oscar, in the meantime, is reverting to hurdles after two promising begins over fences.
The Iain Jardine-trained Voix Du Reve – who has run within the final two renewals – completes the five-strong line-up.
Coleman: Epatante has to up her sport
Aidan Coleman is aware of Epatante may need to boost her sport once more if she is to win the Betfair Combating Fifth Hurdle for the third time on Saturday.
The Nicky Henderson-trained mare was profitable in 2020, beating Sceau Royal, and went from there to be second within the Christmas Hurdle, whereas final 12 months she dead-heated with Not So Sleepy at Newcastle earlier than this time touchdown the Christmas Hurdle.
She was not seen once more after Boxing Day till the Champion Hurdle in March, the place she was second to Honeysuckle within the two-mile championship she lifted in 2020.
Good afterwards within the Aintree Hurdle, the JP McManus-owned eight-year-old now has the daunting prospect of getting the higher of stablemate Structure Hill if she is to affix Comedy Of Errors and Birds Nest as a three-time Combating Fifth winner, after he was rerouted from Ascot final weekend.
Coleman will as soon as once more do the steering on Epatante and stated: “It’s a good race, however she is a pleasant mare who had an incredible season final 12 months.
“She should be higher. It is a new 12 months and a brand new race and these races are very onerous to win, however we will probably be in there making an attempt to offer it our greatest shot.
“They might be watering at Newcastle – it has been a mad season, hasn’t it – however I am not worrying about that.”
L’Homme Presse amongst 9 in riveting Rehearsal
Cheltenham Competition winner L’Homme Presse heads a strong-looking renewal of the Betfair Alternate Rehearsal Handicap Chase on the identical card.
Venetia Williams’ runner was additionally a late absentee from Ascot final Saturday and can now have to hold 12-stone within the Premier Handicap at Gosforth Park.
Final 12 months’s winner Aye Proper, who got here out on prime in an epic duel with Good Boy Bobby on that event, is included once more.
Kim Bailey has declared Aintree Grade Three winner Happygolucky, whereas Sandy Thomson’s Dingo Greenback and Brian Ellison’s Windsor Avenue add to an intriguing contest.
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