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Patrick Mullins: It was one of those days - we hope there are better ones ahead

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Epatante, with Barry Geraghty up (left) on their way to winning the Champion Hurdle ahead of
Sharjah, ridden by Patrick Mullins. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Epatante, with Barry Geraghty up (left) on their way to winning the Champion Hurdle ahead of Sharjah, ridden by Patrick Mullins. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Epatante, with Barry Geraghty up (left) on their way to winning the Champion Hurdle ahead of Sharjah, ridden by Patrick Mullins. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Altior, victorious at the last four festivals, but absent today after the first troubled campaign of his career. And so the throne is left vacant.

Two princes in waiting will duel to fill it. Defi Du Seuil is part of the new breed of juvenile. The French bred rather than the ex-flat horse.

They last longer and go onto more. His jousts with Un De Sceaux, one of Altior's vanquished, through the season have seen him elevated through the ranks. A dual festival winner, he is the obvious heir apparent to Altior.