Henderson confirms hurdles campaign for Constitution Hill
Reigning champion will not make fences switch this term.Constitution Hill will stay over hurdles this season, trainer Nicky Henderson has announced. The six-year-old is unbeaten in seven career starts to date, with six of those victories at Grade One level, including a nine-length triumph in last season’s Champion Hurdle. Following Constitution Hill’s Aintree Hurdle verdict in April, Henderson, owner Michael Buckley and jockey Nico de Boinville discussed a possible switch to chasing over the summer. However, they have now decided to remain over the smaller obstacles, with another Champion Hurdle success the ultimate aim. Henderson told the PA news agency: “The news on Constitution Hill is that after a lot of deliberating and a lot of advice from everybody in the world, because everybody wants a piece of this, he is going to stay over hurdles. “At the end of the day I don’t think it was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. People will ask if we’ve schooled him over fences and why have we come to this decision. “He would jump fences with his eyes shut, if we wanted him to, but the basis of the decision was we had to be 100 per cent sure that he would stay three and a quarter miles (in the Gold Cup). “There was nothing to be gained by switching to fences by running in an Arkle, Champion Chase and possibly a Ryanair, great races though they are, but the Champion Hurdle is the Champion Hurdle, so if you are going to run in anything you might as well stick to what you know. “I dare say there will be plenty of people saying this is unimaginative, but there was no doubt in Nico’s (De Boinville) mind, stamina was likely to be a major issue and the only point in doing it was if one felt he could become a Gold Cup horse.” “For all three of us the decision was unanimous. You might say why did it take three months, but we all felt it was the right decision.”
Follow us on Twitter racing365dotcom and like our Facebook page.
Dettori defends Barney Curley crown at storm-hit Bellewstown
Annual charity event cut short ‘in jumping weather’.
O’Brien: Arc was always a strong possibility for Continuous
Leger hero made all the right moves to be supplemented.
Rogues raring to go with two big chances on Arc weekend
‘It will be a fair old raid on Paris and we’re looking forward to having a good time’.
Marquand eyeing Group One double at Newmarket
Relief Rally and Lake Forest tackle juvenile highlights.
Mister Sketch looks to have done enough for this year
Hopes high for three-year-old campaign after Mill Reef near-miss.
Inishfallen bringing solid credentials to Newmarket challenge
Solario Stakes runner-up looking to go one better in Tattersalls Stakes.
Through Seven Seas sets sail for Arc glory for Japan
‘I believe at the moment the mare is the best horse the Japanese could have sent’.
Continuous and Fantastic Moon added to Arc field
St Leger and Prix Niel winners set to line up at ParisLongchamp.
Burrows happy to head to Paris with fresh Hukum
Arc contender will have just his third run of the year in Sunday’s Group one highlight.
Foniska an easy Navigation Stakes winner at Cork
The filly runs in the silks of the Niarchos family.