No honeysuckle showdown in Punchestown for Constitution Hill The42


NICKY HENDERSON has confirmed that Constitution Hill will not face Honeysuckle in Punchestown next week and will instead be leaving for their summer vacation.

Constitution Hill produced a scintillating spectacle by winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by 22 lengths at the Cheltenham Festival last month.

Two hours later, superstar mare Honeysuckle successfully defended her crown in the Champion Hurdle for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.

A potential clash between the pair in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle was then mooted, with race sponsors dangling the carrot of a £100,000 bonus should a British horse emerge triumphant.

However, after discussing it with owner Michael Buckley over the weekend, Henderson “refused all temptations”, opting instead to save his young star for next season.

“It’s been a good fortnight since we sniffed and aahé. It was very tempting,” the Seven Barrows manager said on Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast.

“But he’s a big, pretty raw five-year-old who’s only had three races in his life and his future is so great – and believe it or not I think he can be a better horse and a stronger horse in a year time.

“I just prefer to finish on a high note with everything he has ahead of him. There’s plenty of time to meet Honeysuckle and hopefully it will be in March (in Cheltenham).”

He added: “He will definitely stay on hurdles and he can have a good campaign next season.

“To go out there (to Ireland) and do that against what is undoubtedly a very good mare, it’s not so much that she scares us, it’s just doing something that wasn’t really in the interests of and for the benefit of Constitution Hill.

“I think the peloton and a great summer are more beneficial and we’ll just try to build that framework a bit more.

“We declined all temptations.


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