Constitution Hill overwhelming favourite as five go to post in Christmas Hurdle

Just four challengers will try to upset the unbeaten Constitution Hill in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.

The pre-eminent star of National Hunt racing, Nicky Henderson's charge was nothing short of sensational in last season's Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham and was similarly impressive on his reappearance in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle last month.

The five-year-old left his Champion Hurdle and dual Christmas Hurdle-winning stablemate Epatante trailing in his wake at Gosforth Park, but after freezing temperatures scuppered her intended appearance in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham, she takes him on again in Sunbury.

Third in the betting is Alan King's stable stalwart Sceau Royal. The 10-year-old has won 17 races over hurdles and fences combined, but clearly has his work cut out in this company.

Harry Fry's Metier, who was last seen winning the November Handicap on the Flat, and the Chris Gordon-trained Highway One O Two have even more to find on official ratings - but the latter is a course and distance winner and bolted up in what looked a competitive handicap hurdle at Ascot last month.

Gordon said: "I've popped him in there and if he improves 35lb I've got it in the bag!

"At the end of the day we'd saved him for the £150,000 handicap at Ascot last weekend and unfortunately that got cancelled.

"There's not much else for him and there's fantastic prize-money on offer in the Christmas Hurdle. My boy will jump off and go his gallop and what will be will be.

"I don't really like doing this type of thing, but he's old and wise enough and there's just not a handicap suitable for him at the moment after the race at Ascot was called off.

"We'll go to Kempton, the owner can have a nice day and it would just be nice if we can get a bit of prize-money to bring back home."

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