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Andrews 2021 Lay Thread

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By:
Andrew.in.Sweden
When: 09 Jan 22 10:30
Good morning Happysandwich/All,

It would have been £4 Wink

Constitution Hill did what many expected in the Tolworth and my comment in yesterdays post that he would emulate L'ami Serge who won by 14L on heavy going back in 2015 would have come to fruition if Nico hadn't eased him on the run-in. A good day for me (you may have sensed confidence in my email and WhatsApp group) and it was my largest bet since the US presidential election in 2020.

The pre-race figures (winning time and sectionals) were impressive and although heavy going was a question mark he has a soft ground action, won on the latter and there are several from the sire that act on heavy (Royale Pagaille a typical example). Mind you, we all know odds of 2/5 doesn't necessarily make a horse a good thing.

My regret was not being on course to see the race, but if Boris and German counterparts knew what they are doing i could have been.

So where does he go next ? The Supreme is the obvious target, but will he have another run beforehand. The last couple of Tolworth winners (Metier and Fiddlerontheroof) went straight to Cheltenham (both had much more racing experience than him) although Summerville Boy who did the double only had 4 races (including a bumper) before winning the big one directly after Sandown. Tolworth winners don't have a great record in the Supreme anyway.

I feel Nicky may like to get another run into him, possibly the Dovecote at Kempton on February 26th, it fits in the racing calendar, but it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't have another.

How decent is he ? I think he's very good although comparison with Sprinter Sacre, Altior and Shishkin et all is far too early to make, it's actually ridiculous. We can forget his P2P run where the form isn't anything special, he was ridden by a 5 lb claiming amateur, made a horrendous mistake at the last, but still nearly got up again to win. His novice hurdle win was impressive on the eye (and figures) the runner-up Might I is a reasonable yardstick (without going overboard) and although just as good yesterday it wasn't a strong grade 1 in my opinion. He's only run at Sandown, a course that obviously suits and a world away in track configuration to Cheltenham.

He races handily and his turn of foot is instant and impressive, his last furlong split yesterday was 17.23 (eased down) and this was best of the meeting, as it was in his previous race. He's improved since the TC and there must be more to come being so lightly raced.

I stated on here after the Tingle Creek i thought he was better than Jonbon and i stand by this; in a match bet at Cheltenham i know which one i will be wanting to back (assuming ground is not firm). The latter is a little fractuous and the first day crowd and festival experience may get the better of him. I will be a layer of the horse anyway and for several reasons.

Conversely, Constitution Hill is very layed back and almost appears to be sleeping in the preliminaries and mid-race, but certainly comes to life when Nico presses the button. I'm not suggesting he's a shoe-in at Cheltenham, but without question the more likely winner. If he has an interim race i will certainly be backing him and looking to go over wherever it is (assuming south of England).

Owner Michael Buckley made a valid point yesterday that the rain stopped during the race, maybe Constitution Hill is so good he can change weather patterns.

Good luck and have a nice Sunday all.
By:
ashleigh
When: 09 Jan 22 10:58
andrew, listening to nicky this morning, looks like straight to the supreme, no plans for constitution hill or jonbon to go to the ballymore, or this years champion hurdle when asked.
By:
punchestown
When: 09 Jan 22 12:35
I am always a bit cagey about Tolworth winners on heavy ground when it comes to Cheltenham as there's been a host of them (even wide margin winners) who have gone on to not much afterwards on better ground.

This horse could be the exception though.
By:
Davros
When: 09 Jan 22 13:18
Impressive performance.  Does anybody else think that Constitution Hill already hurdles like a chaser?
By:
Andrew.in.Sweden
When: 10 Jan 22 10:11
Good morning Guys,

Ashleigh/Punchestown/Davros, many thanks for the posts.

The Nicky Henderson interview was interesting enough although i wasn’t sure if you were referring to one with Nick Luck or Matt Chapman (not that it mattered) but i watched the latter yesterday. Matt has his critics and to a point i agree with a few of them, at least as a pundit/odds reviewer on the Opening Show where he’s a little OTT on occasion, but it’s all part of his exuberant ‘showbiz’ persona and at least he adds a lively contrast to the others. Mind you i think he’s good as a journalist/interviewer and certainly has an in depth knowledge of the game.

Nicky was as ‘diplomatic’ as ever, not giving too much away and what he did, i think many of us thought beforehand anyway. I would be very surprised if Jonbon goes for the Ballymore and even more so if Constitution Hill did, the latter is all speed in my opinion, at least this season (i’m aware he ran over 24f in a P2P).

As for a 2022 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle entry, i understand Matts reasoning for such a proposal (if Honeysuckle was a NR) but let’s not get carried away, even allowing for the fact Constitution Hill could be a bit special in time.

In the history of the race, only a dozen 5 year olds have won it since 1927 with a couple this century and i’m not going to review form books to see how many of these won with a 2/2 race record (under NH rules). Several of the 5 year olds went on to become greats, namely Sir Ken, Persian War and Night Nurse, so it’s clearly a task. At the moment it’s all about potential and although i have a very high opinion of him, i’m fully aware he’s only won a class 3 novice and a grade 1 with a sub-standard field on the same track, both runs on soft/heavy. Let him win the Supreme first and go for the CH in 2023.

Metier last year is a typical example of wide margin winners on heavy in the Tolworth, but what sets CH apart is a very laid back manner in the preliminaries and even during a race. It appears he’s lobbing along, then at the appropriate time Nico gives a shake of the reins and the response is immediate (almost like a turbo kicking in) quickening way impressively. Of course the opposition is going to be much harder in future and what will he be like under pressure/off the bridle, the Supreme may answer these questions.

As for his hurdling technique, i thought it was OK (a little high at a couple) without being spectacular. Nicky has already stated that anything CH and Jonbon do as hurdlers is a bonus and both are chasers in the making.

Good luck and have a nice Monday all.
By:
Trusty
When: 10 Jan 22 10:35
Whitbread 2025 winner imo.
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