Nicky Henderson has indicated that Constitution Hill could be running his last race over hurdles in April, with the superstar looking set to take on fences next season.
The six-year-old has been unbeatable over hurdles so far, with six wins from six including a nine-length victory in the Champion Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
|When||15:30 - Thursday, 13th April|
|How to watch||bet365 live Sports Streaming, ITV and Racing TV|
|Odds||Constitution Hill 1/4, Epatante 7/1, Zanahiyr 10/1|
The nine-length victory at Prestbury Park in March was actually the smallest margin of victory for Constitution Hill, who has won over £500,000 in prize money in the last two years.
It’s no surprise to see the Michael Buckley-owned charge is a strong favourite to make it seven from seven, and a sixth successive Grade 1 victory, in the Aintree Hurdle where he is priced at 1/4.
It’s now been revealed that April’s race at the Grand National Festival could be his last over hurdles, with connections mulling over plans for next season.
Trainer Henderson admitted: "It's possible Aintree could be his last run over hurdles. Everything is possible.
"There are more opportunities over fences to start with, which would lead to the Arkle and the Champion Chase or maybe even the Gold Cup, if he stays. A real superstar is a horse that can adapt to everything."
Henderson admits that it is a decision that will be made by the whole team, with jockey Nico de Boinville and owner Buckley set to discuss what the future holds.
A couple of weeks after his Aintree run the Henderson team are set to school him over fences to get an idea of how he will take to bigger obstacles.
Much could depend on how Constitution Hill fares at Liverpool, where he will be running for the first time in his hurdles career.
The hurdling star has enjoyed a break after his latest Cheltenham success but will step up preparations over the next week, before the latest test at Aintree on 13th April.
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If the Christmas Hurdle winner impresses when schooled over fences, the Cheltenham Festival is clearly the main target for his connections.
Prestbury Park clearly suits the horse, who won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2022 before his Champion Hurdle success this year, which is ideal for future plans.
The gelding is likely to have one of three options - one of which is the Arkle Chase, for which the Henderson-charge is currently 7/4 to win in 2024.
The Champion Chase, run over 1m 7f, is another consideration for Constitution Hill (6/1), which could see him go head-to-head with Energumene (11/4), who is seeking a third consecutive win in the race.
If the six-year-old impresses over fences in the summer, there is also a chance that he could line up in next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Constitution Hill is 16/1 to win the Festival showcase in 2024, with defending champion Galopin Des Champs priced at 6/4, while Bravemansgame is 10/1.
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