Morris backs Henderson decision to keep Constitution Hill hurdling
Jockey Luke Morris has described Nicky Henderson's decision to keep unbeaten Seven Barrows superstar Constitution Hill over hurdles as a "sensible decision".
Morris, who rode Alpinista to eight successive victories, including last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe – the world's most prestigious all-age horse race – was speaking to OLBG and credited legendary Lambourn trainer Henderson with making the right call in not sending Constitution Hill over fences.
The six-year-old is unbeaten – indeed untouchable – in seven starts over fences, winning four Grade 1 races including the Champion Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival when he stormed to victory by a magnificent nine lengths.
Many in the racing world had been clamouring for the six-time champion Jumps trainer to take a risk and send Constitution Hill, who was sired by the prolific Blue Bresil, over fences in a bid to emulate the great Dawn Run and add a Gold Cup title to his Champion Hurdle crown.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News last month, Henderson said he would not send Constitution Hill chasing unless he was "absolutely sure" he would stay three-and-a-quarter miles, the Gold Cup distance.
And Morris, who has ridden at least 100 winners for 10 years in a row, hailed Henderson's decision as the correct one and admitted he was surprised to see so many people disagree.
"I was very surprised at the backlash over the Constitution Hill saga," he told OLBG.
"He's the best hurdler I've ever seen because he's so quick and fast over hurdles.
"Why would you send a horse that's so good over hurdles chasing when he's so dominant and beats all before him? I thought it was a sensible decision.
"I think winning the Champion Hurdle is a great achievement whether there are 10 runners, four runners or whether he was 10/1 or 1/10.
"The pressure is still there and really strong, so I'm sure Nico (de Boinville, jockey) will get a buzz on him."
Constitution Hill is now set to follow a similar course to last season, when he swept all before him, and defend his titles at Newcastle's Fighting Fifth and Kempton's Christmas Hurdle before going for a second successive Champion Hurdle in March.