Champion Hurdle market rocked following Constitution Hill workout

Vet scopes defending champion and finds evidence of mucus following a below-par visit to Kempton Park

Constitution Hill sent shockwaves through the Champion Hurdle market on Tuesday morning, with the participation of the reigning champion seemingly in doubt following a below-par workout in a pre-Cheltenham visit to Kempton Park.

As has become tradition, Nicky Henderson took several of his festival contenders for a spin at the Sunbury circuit, including the unbeaten Constitution Hill, whose only start this season was in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day.

Bookmakers were quick to suspend betting in the wake of the work, and the Seven Barrows trainer said his superstar had since scoped badly.

“Unfortunately, in a routine gallop this morning, Constitution Hill was very disappointing and it transpires, after the vet has scoped him, that there is evidence of mucus,” said Henderson.


“We’re taking a sample of it to a laboratory to analyse it, which will tell us about the significance of it and we should know more after that.

“Last week, he worked brilliantly and he was scoped 10 days ago, but these things happen, just like it did with him earlier in the year [having to miss Cheltenham on Trials day in January].

“Horses are like humans, look how many people had the awful cough around Christmas that took ages to get rid of.”