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    Henderson Emphasises the Importance of an 'Away Day' for Constitution Hill
Henderson Emphasises the Importance of an 'Away Day' for Constitution Hill
Image courtesy of Sporting Life 

Henderson Emphasises the Importance of an 'Away Day' for Constitution Hill

‘In fine shape,’ asserts the trainer from Seven Barrows.

Constitution Hill is set to undergo one final rigorous training session as Nicky Henderson readies the National Hunt racing luminary for another shot at the Unibet Champion Hurdle title.

With the prestigious Festival in the Cotswolds looming just under three weeks away, Henderson's journey with the undefeated seven-year-old has been anything but straightforward this season.

Initially slated to kick off his campaign at the Fighting Fifth in Newcastle, the event was called off due to frost. Subsequently rescheduled at Sandown the following week, Henderson decided against participating due to the challenging conditions.

Consequently, Constitution Hill made his seasonal debut at Kempton on Boxing Day, where he clinched victory effortlessly. However, hopes of showcasing his prowess at Cheltenham Trials day were dashed due to an issue with his health.

In a press gathering orchestrated by the Jockey Club amidst pouring rain, Henderson expressed his frustration with the inclement weather. He remarked,

“This weather is exasperating. Our typical routines are being dictated by the dreary weather. Working on grass, which we prefer, has become quite challenging”. 

Henderson noted,

“The only horse with significant training remaining is Constitution Hill, as he has not competed since Christmas, similar to the previous year. However, we encountered a brief setback when he fell unwell for a couple of weeks”. 
“I would prefer an off-site training session for him. The other horses have been actively competing, hence they do not require one,”

Henderson added.

Reflecting on Constitution Hill's condition, Henderson affirmed,

“We are in a similar position as last year. His physical and mental state are excellent, as always. I observed exceptional performance during his recent workout. The conditions were perfect, just what we aim for”.

Detailing the recent health setback, Henderson explained,

“We had to give him a break for three weeks when he was unwell. Although it was an inconvenience, he was in good shape beforehand. He received treatment and was closely monitored. It was a minor issue, but one that needed attention”. 

Henderson's confidence in Constitution Hill's resilient nature remains unwavering, despite having raced only once this season. The trainer, eyeing a record-extending 10th Champion Hurdle victory, stated,

“He is untroubled by the lack of races. He possesses a formidable temperament, and that is reassuring”. 

Looking ahead to the upcoming challenge, Henderson shared,

“We are focused on our strategy, not dwelling on competitors' tactics. State Man remains a formidable rival, but we are prepared. Our aim is clear, and we are on track”. 

As preparations intensify for the Champion Hurdle, Henderson hinted at his lineup, indicating a change in plans for First Street and Luccia. First Street is poised to step up in distance for the Coral Cup, while Luccia is set to feature on the opening day of the Festival.

Acknowledging the rating disparities and prize-money allure, Henderson commented,

“Luccia is likely to compete. First Street, on the other hand, has faced a rating hike and might opt for a longer distance. Our focus remains on maximising our chances and securing victories in the upcoming challenges”. 

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