Racing preview: Epatante and Honeysuckle lead galaxy of stars in action this weekend

There is some brilliant action this weekend in the racing world with some of the sport’s top equine stars in action at Newbury, Newcastle and Fairyhouse respectively.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 5:56 pm
Barry Geraghty riding Epatante to victory at Cheltenham last year. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The likes of Epatante, Honeysuckle and Monmiral are all in action and we have taken a look at the pick of the action.

If you are heading racing this weekend, take a look at OLBG for more selections.

The feature race on Saturday is the £250,000 Ladbrokes Trophy (3.00pm) in which 21 runners go to post for the extended three miles and one furlong event. Willie Mullins saddles the exciting Ontheropes in this event as he bids to back up an exciting win in the Munster National earlier this term. This race has been the plan since and he is deeply respected along with stable companion Brahma Bull who will have to defy top-weight and Annamix.

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Other contenders include defending champion Cloth Cap and the Colin Tizzard-trained Fiddlerontheroof who scored in Listed company last time out, course winner Mister Malarky and the returning Copperhead.

Henry De Bromhead saddles the exciting Eklat De Rire who returned to action with victory in a Listed event last time out and looks sure to go close. Paul Nicholls saddles the unexposed Enrilo, whilst Nicky Henderson relies on Brave Eagle. The likes of Remastered, Kitty’s Light and the unexposed Demachine are others to note.

Elsewhere at Newbury, Soaring Glory and Gowel Road face off in a Listed contest at 2.25pm, whilst Irish raider Mr Incredible is a fascinating runner along with Grade One winning hurdler Ahoy Senor in a Grade Two event at 12.40pm.

Over at Newcastle, former Champion Hurdle heroine Epatante bids to regain the winning thread by defending her crown in the £115,000 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle at 3.15pm in which she takes on five rivals.

The seven-year-old was no match for Honeysuckle in the 2021 Champion Hurdle when third and filled the same position behind that rival in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.

Sceau Royal is unbeaten in two starts this term and has race fitness on his side, whilst the unexposed Monmiral is bidding to become the fifth four-year-old to win this event having landed a Grade One at Aintree last term. The six runners are completed by Silver Streak, Not So Sleepy and Voix Du Reve.

On Sunday, the Champion Hurdle heroine Honeysuckle will bid to retain her unbeaten record in the Grade One Hatton’s Grace Hurdle (2.40pm) at Punchestown. Unbeaten in 12 starts under Rules. Honeysuckle is chasing a third straight win in this race under regular rider Rachael Blackmore and her rivals could include the likes of Saldier, Klassical Dream and Abacadabras as she once again bids to light up an excellent day of racing across the Irish Sea in which Honeysuckle is taken to retain her unbeaten record with yet another success in this event.

ITV Racing selections

1.15pm Newbury – Somptueux

1.30pm Newcastle – Valleres

1.50pm Newbury – Lecale’s Article

2.05pm Newcastle – Dingo Dollar

2.25pm Newbury – Soaring Glory

3.00pm Newbury – Eklat De Rire

3.15pm Newcastle – Epatante

3.35pm Newbury – Frero Banbou