03 March 2023

Theatre Glory poised to take on Epatante and Honeysuckle

03 March 2023

Nicky Henderson’s Theatre Glory is likely to take her chance in the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Just like Seven Barrows’ stablemate Epatante, Theatre Glory was not among the initial entries for the Grade One event and would need to be supplemented at a cost of £4,599 for a race which is shaping up to be one of the hottest of the week – and also the likely destination for the swansong of two-time Champion Hurdle winner Honeysuckle.

However, she put herself in the picture for the two-and-a-half-mile contest with a commanding 11-length success in the Listed Warwick Mares’ Hurdle last month, a race won previously by Henderson’s defending champion Marie’s Rock on her way to Prestbury Park glory last year.

The Canter Banter Racing-owned six-year-old does hold an entry for the Coral Cup on day two and is as short as 10-1 with the bookmakers for handicap success. But rated 5lb higher than Marie’s Rock was when triumphing 12 months ago, connections feel Theatre Glory has earned her shot at the big time.

“I think she deserves her chance in the Mares’ Hurdle,” said Katie Croft, co-founder of Canter Banter Racing alongside David Fehily.

“It might cut up a little bit at the top – Telmesomethinggirl might go for the Mares’ Chase and Marie’s Rock is a possible for the Stayers’ and if you ran into the top four you would be delighted. We’re under no illusion we’ll beat two Champion Hurdlers, but we’ll probably go for the Mares’.

A winner of six of her nine starts under rules, five of those victories have come on good ground and the prospect of slick spring ground at the Festival only adds to the dream of Theatre Glory springing an upset in her trip to the top table.

Croft continued: “She just loves to be able to flick along, she’s got a bit more toe on that good ground, she just finds it so easy. It’s very exciting, just to have a live chance is very exciting.”

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