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Nicky Henderson expects Constitution Hill and Jonbon to meet in Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival



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Seven Barrows trainer Nicky Henderson believes Constitution Hill and Jonbon will meet in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Constitution Hill produced one of the performances of the season as he romped to victory in Saturday’s Grade 1 Unibet Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown, finishing 12 lengths ahead of second-place Jetoile.

As a result, the five-year-old has moved to the top of the betting for the opening race of the Cheltenham Festival, moving ahead of stablemate Jonbon.

Jonbon recently won the Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle at Newbury
Jonbon recently won the Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle at Newbury

The pair have different owners and Henderson doesn’t expect to see them split apart when it comes to March.

“They have to get there, that’s the main thing,” said Henderson on his two stars. “We’re lucky to have two, I mean you’re lucky if you have one of them let alone two of them.

“We’re lucky because we have him [Constitution Hill] and Jonbon and I am not going to split them up because I don’t have to.

“I think if we continue to conclude that two miles is their trip, then there is only one thing to do and that is to run them both.”

Henderson had to watch the five-year-old’s victory from his home after contracting Covid-19 and he explained how difficult it was not being in attendance.

“It is tough, it’s worse, especially for races like that on Saturday,” he said. “The day-to-day stuff it’s not too bad, but when you have horses like that [Constitution Hill] running it was strange to say the very least.

“It has always been a good race to us and it’s now the third time that Michael Buckley has won, which was great for him because he has been with us a long time.”

Henderson also provided an update on Shishkin, who could feature in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot on January 22.

“We’re certainly thinking about it, but some of these horses haven’t been running quite how I’d like them to and we have to make sure everything is alright.

“If we don’t go to Ascot, we’ll wait for the Game Spirit [at Newbury].

“Nico [de Boinville] will ride him at the weekend and do a bit of work and then we’ll see how he feels, but he seems good at the moment anyway.”



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