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Constitution Hill has ‘mild lung infection’ with Cheltenham hopes still in the balance

Trainer Nicky Henderson says Constitution Hill has a mild lung infection and will be re-scoped on Friday.

The unbeaten seven-year-old caused a pre-Cheltenham panic when he turned in a lacklustre performance in a workout at Kempton yesterday.

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A subsequent scope revealed evidence of mucus which saw bookmakers initially suspend the betting for the Champion Hurdle, a race in which Constitution Hill was odds-on to defend following his victory last year.

An update from Henderson today was positive although the result of Friday’s scope will determine “which way this is going”.

He wrote on X: “I’m pleased to say that Constitution Hill appears perfectly normal this morning. He is bright and well and ate everything last night. His temperature has remained normal both last night and this morning.

“As with all the other horses that galloped at Kempton yesterday they are having an easy day today. They have had a lead out and all appear to be sound and well and are having a good pick of grass.

“We would plan to ride them all, including Constitution Hill, tomorrow although he will have quieter exercise for the next 48 hours at least as we still have to bear in mind that he has got a hopefully relatively mild lung infection which has to improve considerably before any serious work could begin again.

“Fresh air is as important as anything for a horse’s lungs. The intention is to rescope on Friday to monitor which way this is going.”

Constitution Hill, who was described as “the horse of a generation” by AP McCoy last year, has started just once this season, a win in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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