Winning owner JP McManus, centre, with trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Barry Gergahty after Epatante's win in the Unibet Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday
LIMERICK racehorse owner JP McManus had a 69th birthday to remember when his star hurdler Epatante won the prized stg£470,250 Unibet Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.
Epatante, backed in from 7/2 on Tuesday morning to a well-supported 2/1 favourite, for hurdling's blue riband claimed a record ninth Champion Hurdle success for leading National Hunt owner McManus.
This was the Limerick man's four consecutive win in the feature race on the Cheltenham Festival’s opening day
It was winning trainer Nicky Henderson's eighth Champion Hurdle triumph. Forty-year-old winning jockey Geraghty was scoring his 39th race at the Cheltenham Festival.
Epatante is the fifth mare to win the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
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