By Andrew Atkinson
Sharjah (16-1) selected each-way in the Unibet Champion Hurdle finished a creditable second, behind heavily backed winner and 2-1 favourite Epatante, on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.
Sharjah, 11st 10lb, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by son Patrick Mullins, came from the back of the 17 runners field to weave his way through the pack, over 2 miles, to get within 3 lengths of Epatante, under 11st 3lb.
Epatante, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Barry Geraghty, his fourth Champion Hurdle win, won the winning £264,000 cheque for owner J. P. McManus, celebrating his birthday.
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