Grand National Festival 2022: Thursday's Aintree Hurdle tips - Epatante an easy choice

The Betway Aintree Hurdle sees Nicky Henderson's Epatante and Gordon Elliott's Zanahiyr renew their rivalry on day one of the Aintree Grand National Festival.

The final Grade 1 on the opening day of the Aintree Grand National Festival is the Betway Aintree Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs.

A bijou field contains such talent as Nicky Henderson's Epatante, Gordon Elliott's Zanahiyr and Olly Murphy's Brewin'upastorm.

Planet Sport's Live Race Centre is the one stop shop for all the up to date racing information including race cards.

Watch the video or read the text (or both) for all the best information on Planet Sport's pick for the Betway Aintree Hurdle.

15.30 Aintree - Epatante

While Jonathan Doidge doesn't think Epatante is quite the mare of old, he still fancies her to get the job done in the Betway Aintree Hurdle.

A second in the Champion Hurdle was not to be sniffed at for the 8-year-old and she had Saturday's opponent behind her at Cheltenham.

Here is a snapshot of why Jonathan thinks Epatante is the excellent choice at Aintree.

"Epatante is a former Champion Hurdle winner of course and is the favourite here and I reckon will be good enough to win. She's rated just 154 these days, Aiden Coleman rides in the JP McManus silks for trainer Nicky Henderson who will have her ready and primed for this contest."

"She ran well again last time and her form figures were still strong despite the fact that is not as good as she once was but I think she'll have too much for Zanahiyr and Brewin'upastorm who ate both very decent horses in their own right."

15.30 Aintree - Epatante

Pete never says away from class when class is speaking loudly and he thinks there can be only one pick here in Epatante.

Wins in the Fighting Fifth and the Christmas Hurdle were precursors to that Champion Hurdle second and here is a snippet of why Epatante is the eminently sensible pick.

"Epatante is going to be the selection for me here, obviously the 2020 Champion Hurdle victor. Went up against Honeysuckle a couple of weeks ago and didn't run too badly, was still a length and change off Honeysuckle before that silly mistake at the last."

"But to be honest this is still horse, even with the likes of Zanahiyr in here is still the best by a long way. Yes the question does sit there over the length of this run and there are a couple of questions on stamina I suppose off the back of that but Zanahiyr is a very good horse, Epatante is a very very good horse."

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