Constitution Hill Out of Cheltenham

Trainer Nicky Henderson has made the disappointing announcement that Constitution Hill will not compete at the upcoming Cheltenham Festival. Despite being the defending Champion Hurdle hero and boasting an unbeaten record, his recent poor performance during a workout at Kempton Park raised concerns about his readiness for the prestigious event.

Following the workout, a scope revealed mucus in his lungs, casting doubt on his ability to participate. Despite some initial optimism, a subsequent blood test revealed further setbacks, indicating an ongoing infection.

Despite signs of improvement over the weekend, including a brighter demeanor and better performance in training, Monday's blood test confirmed that Constitution Hill has not fully recovered. Henderson expressed his regret at having to withdraw the horse from the Champion Hurdle, citing the importance of prioritizing his long-term health and well-being.

With Constitution Hill out of the running, State Man, who finished second at Cheltenham last year, emerges as the favorite for the Champion Hurdle, with odds of 1-3 from Coral and 2-5 from Paddy Power.

© 2009 All rights reserved.