Constitution Hill leads after Tolworth win, Henderson says


Nicky Henderson said Constutution Hill came out of his victory at Tolworth Hurdle bouncing and “as fresh as paint.”

Seriously impressive on his course and distance debut at Sandown a month ago, the five-year-old reveled in the Level 1 jump, winning by 12 lengths.

Henderson watched the race at home after contracting Covid-19, but was delighted with how his charge recovered from his efforts in Surrey.

Appearing on Racing TV’s Luck on Sunday, the Seven Barrows coach said, “He was amazing (this morning) him – he’s fresh as paint.

“He is extraordinary because in all his slow steps they are not slow – they are even slower than slow!

“But if you put it behind a few horses you don’t know you’re sitting on anything until you take it out and say ‘go’ and it’s like shifting gears – it just goes. .

“He does it very quickly and very honestly. He loves school and enjoys work and has an amazing attitude towards life.”

Constitution Hill’s easy win saw him place alongside his teammate Jonbon at the top of ante-post betting for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

And while Henderson has nothing against his two star novices battling in the curtain-raiser at the Cheltenham Festival, he doesn’t rule out the prospect of an intensified trip for the two-mile-and-five-meter Ballymore.

He added: “Jonbon is a very, very good horse. I’m lucky to be the person who doesn’t have to separate them – you’d be lucky to have one.

“They both look like two miles. The only way to force the problem is to conclude that one of them would get another half mile.

“It’s interesting because a few years ago we had Simonsig, who was very strong. He looked like a two miller, but we actually ran him in the two and a half, which he won very easily.

“I guess you would (register both horses in both novice hurdles). I should talk to JP (McManus, owner of Jonbon) and Michael (Buckley, owner of Constitution Hill) and see if they are both happy to do so.

“Both horses are as beautiful as us anyway. They look like two miles, to be honest.”

Henderson also provided an update on Shishkin’s condition ahead of a potential clash with Willie Mullins-trained Energumene in the Clarence House Chase in Ascot on January 22.

He said: “At the moment we are preparing as if (we are going to run).

“I can’t promise that’s what’s going to happen. I wish Nico (de Boinville) would sit on top of him at the end of this week and he is very good at telling me – he’s the one who told me (run) before Kempton.

“If we’re happy next weekend, chances are he’ll go to Ascot.”

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