- Popular horse Constitution Hill has been limited to just one outing this winter
- His participation in next week’s Cheltenham Festival is at stake
- Trainer Nicky Henderson has now confirmed that Constitution Hill will not be in action.
Constitution Hill has been ruled out of the Champion Hurdle in a blow to trainer Nicky Henderson and the Cheltenham Festival as a whole.
The jump racing superstar’s participation in the race he won so brilliantly 12 months ago has been in doubt since last Tuesday, when he galloped miserably at Kempton behind two stablemates. She immediately had tests done and her results showed that she was suffering from an infection.
Henderson has monitored and evaluated Constitution Hill every day since and hoped that a course of antibiotics would provide enough recovery to get the gelding healthy enough in time to line up in the big race on the Festival’s opening day next Tuesday. .
But further testing on Monday confirmed that Constitution Hill, who is unbeaten in eight starts under the rules, has not made the required progress and, as a result, Henderson made the painful decision to retire him.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Henderson said: “Very sadly we are going to have to admit defeat in the battle to prepare Constitution Hill for the Champion Hurdle and will therefore have to declare that it will not race there this year.”
Constitution Hill, favorite for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival next week, has been ruled out and will not defend the crown he won last year after failing to get fit in time.
The champion hurdler, a jump racing star, has been limited to just one appearance this winter.
“He has certainly improved over the weekend and looks noticeably brighter than at the end of last week and I really thought he was a lot more lively when he rode this morning.” Unfortunately, important blood tests show… that they are far from satisfactory.
‘The only way to keep improving is not to stress him out and obviously he can’t run in these Olympics if he hasn’t trained enough. This is a very sad day for all of us, particularly (owner) Michael Buckley.
“But the best thing for everyone is that we make sure we have a healthy and fit Constitution Hill to reclaim their crown next year.”
State Man, trained by Willie Mullins, is now the favorite to take advantage of Constitution Hill’s absence. However, there is no escaping the fact that losing a horse whose reputation transcends sports is a bitter disappointment for everyone.
Henderson told Mail Sport on Saturday in Kelso that he is determined to run Constitution Hill again somewhere this season – his options would be Aintree in April or Punchestown in May – and is hopeful that remains the case.
Coach Nicky Henderson confirmed the news on Monday and expressed his sadness at the news.
Henderson told Mail Sport he intends to run Constitution Hill again somewhere this season.
One cannot ignore the fact that the garden form is under a cloud. Henderson has raced 16 horses since Feb. 20, nine of which stopped and only two won. He believes there are mitigating factors, such as the heavy nature of the terrain, but it is definitely a headache.
Henderson will still have a strong team for the Festival, including Jonbon in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Sir Gino, the hot favorite for the Triumph Hurdle, but the deflation of this bulletin will require some recovery for the team in his stable of Seven Barrows. .