Wonder horse Constitution Hill could switch to chasing after the Aintree Hurdle next month
The Constitution Hill race on the opening day of next month’s Grand National meeting at Aintree could be his last over hurdles, according to trainer Nicky Henderson.
The marvelous horse’s nine-length victory over State Man at the Cheltenham Festival was confirmation to some that he is worthy of mention alongside the steeplechase greats.
But the future of the Michael Buckley-owned gelding, who is unbeaten in his six races, looks increasingly likely to be in hot pursuit, and Henderson hopes to educate the six-year-old about fencing before he embarks on his holiday. Of summer. .
The gelding’s race in the £250,000 Grade One William Hill Aintree Hurdle on April 13 will be the first time Nico de Boinville’s mount has run under the rules over two and a half miles, albeit as a four year-old Constitution Hill run in a three-mile Irish point-to-point.
Henderson said: ‘Aintree may be his last hurdle race. For starters, there are more opportunities over the fences, which could lead to the Arkle (Rookie Chase) and Champion Chase or maybe even the Gold Cup if he stays.
Constitution Hill is expected to run in the Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National meeting on April 13.
Unbeaten gelding took a brilliant nine length victory in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham
‘A true superstar is a horse that can adapt to anything.’
Asked when a decision would be made on whether to go after him, Henderson said: “Everything will happen after Aintree.” Michael was here the other day and we said that what we would probably try, about 10 days after Aintree if the ground hasn’t dried out too fast, is to educate him about fencing and that will give us an idea. So we have all summer to discuss it.
“Once we’ve seen him hurdling, Nico will know, and Michael and I will know pretty well what the options are then.
‘He has to learn to jump instead of hurdles. It may be that I have totally wrong technique, but I would be very surprised.
“He’s such a smart horse that I think he’ll pick it up soon enough, probably just by rubbing a fence. He’ll say, “Oh wow, someone has raised the bar and now we’re going to do something about it.” He will probably need a bug to solve it.
When asked what Constitution Hill could achieve in the future, Henderson replied, “You can never assume anything because there are so many bumps in the road.” They have to stay healthy and they have to stay healthy.’
Constitution Hill’s preparation for Aintree has gone well and Henderson added: ‘This year we have the advantage of the four week gap between the two (Cheltenham and Aintree) when it is normally three.
“This time last year there was a lot of talk about him racing again (after Cheltenham) but in my mind there was no chance he would race again and he didn’t after winning the supreme novice hurdle.
“He was just a young horse and that cost him a lot. He didn’t come out of Cheltenham at all well last year.
‘This year is completely different. If it had been a three week gap, I’d be going to Aintree. Knock on wood, it looks fantastic. I don’t think she’s ever looked better in her skin. He looks very healthy.
Cheltenham gets a lot out of any horse, no matter how easy you think it was for him. (Champion Hurdle’s win) seemed very straightforward and straightforward and you could say, “He hasn’t even had a tough race.”
“But you have to keep in mind that if you’re doing things at the level that he’s doing, then you can only do it by putting in 110 percent.”
“So it still has an impact and you still have to recover in the same way as a horse that ends up very tired.”
Constitution Hill will do their first proper job since Cheltenham this weekend.
Trainer Nicky Henderson is pleased with Constitution Hill’s preparation for Aintree
Asked if he was worried about the horse wandering off, Henderson said: “Because of his fantastic mentality, you can ride him in different ways.” He doesn’t shoot or do anything.
‘Nico can ride it from the front or he can ride it from the back. You can go wherever you want with it.
“You can ride it a little more conservatively, because it’s two and a half miles, but you’re not going to outrun it.”
He’ll go to sleep for as long as you want and you’ll probably go two and a quarter miles before you ask him a question, instead of a mile and six and ask him a question.