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Henderson's Constitution Hill can be racing's next superstar

Lambourn's Nicky Henderson has admitted his Seven Barrows star Constitution Hill might not race between the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day and March's Champion Hurdle, when the five-year-old will seek to usurp unbeaten defending champion Honeysuckle.

Henderson's Constitution Hill was on scintillating form when he returned to action last month, winning the Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, and is set to go in search of a sixth successive win at Kempton on Monday, where he'll take on stablemate Epatante.

With the removal of Sandown's Contenders Hurdle from the calendar, Constitution Hill could well then have three months to wait before he races again, taking on Honeysuckle in a showdown that is being touted as one of jump racing's most exciting head-to-head's.

Nicky Henderson at Newbury Racecourse
Nicky Henderson at Newbury Racecourse

"We're really pleased with him, everything's gone according to plan, we think he's in great form," Henderson said.

"We'd rather not have raced him against Epatante but we didn't feel we had much of a choice, there's nowhere else to go.

"There's a real chance he won't run again until the Champion Hurdle, the only realistic option we've got is the (Champion Hurdle) trial at Haydock.

"I'm not sure, because Haydock in January doesn't usually fill me with a lot of enthusiasm, we're not sure he needs to do it.

"What's the point of doing it if there's no need to?"

Henderson, who has trained the likes of 18-time winner Sprinter Sacre and 21-time champion Altior, is no stranger to superstars and feels the undefeated Constitution Hill has the potential to go down as one of the greats.

He said: "He's got a long way to go, but he's got the potential to get there or thereabouts.

"It's just a shame it's such a truncated season, they keep taking away all the opportunities and options, there's only one route he can take.

"That's going to lead us to all the Grade Ones and if he wins some of them, then he'll be in that conversation."

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