Constitution Hill in top order after Tolworth win say Henderson

Nicky Henderson couldn't be happier with how his talented hurdler Constitution Hill came out of Saturday's Tolworth Hurdle win. The five-year-old hosed up by 12 lengths at Sandown.

Nicky Henderson said Constutution Hill had come out of his Tolworth Hurdle victory bouncing and "as fresh as paint".

Seriously impressive on his debut over course and distance at Sandown a month ago, the five-year-old revelled in the jump to Grade 1 level, winning by 12 lengths

Henderson watched the race at home after contracting Covid-19 but was pleased as punch with how his charge has recovered from his Surrey exertions.

Appearing on Racing TV's Luck on Sunday programme, the Seven Barrows trainer said: "He was amazing (this morning). You'd hardly know he'd been anywhere yesterday - he looks as if he'd had a day in bed! That's him - he's as fresh as paint.

"He's extraordinary because in all his slow paces, they're not slow - they're even slower than slow!

"But if you put him in behind a couple of horses, you don't know that you're sitting on anything until you pull him out and say 'come on' and it is like changing gear - he just takes off.

"He does it very quickly and very honestly. He loves schooling and loves work and has an extraordinary attitude to life."

Constitution Hill's facile victory saw him rank alongside stablemate Jonbon at the top of the ante-post betting for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

And while Henderson has nothing against his two star novices doing battle in the Cheltenham Festival curtain-raiser, he is not ruling out the prospect of one stepping up in trip for the two-mile-five-furlong Ballymore.

He added: "Jonbon is a very, very good horse. I'm lucky that I'm the person that doesn't have to split them - you'd be lucky to have one.

"They both look like two milers. The only way you could force the issue is to come to conclusion that one of them would get another half-mile.

"It interesting because a few years ago we had Simonsig, who was very strong. He looked like a two miler, but we actually ran him in the two-and-a-half, which he won very easily.

"I suppose you would (enter both horses in both novice hurdles). I'd need to speak to JP (McManus, Jonbon's owner) and Michael (Buckley, Constitution Hill's owner) and see if they're both happy to do that.

"Both horses look as good as we've got anyway. They look like two milers, to be honest."

Henderson also provided an update on Shishkin's condition ahead of a potential clash with the Willie Mullins-trained Energumene in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot on January 22.

He said: "At the moment we're preparing as if (we're going to run).

"I cannot promise that's what's going to happen. I'd like Nico (de Boinville) to have a sit on him at the end of this week and he's very good at being able to tell me - he was the one who told me (to run) before Kempton.

"If we're happy next weekend, there's every possibility he will go to Ascot."

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