Fighting Fifth Hurdle: Constitution Hill leads Newcastle entries
Constitution Hill is one of five left in the BetMGM Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday and is 1/5 with Coral to secure an eighth straight success.
Not surprisingly, there are not many connections with a smart two-mile hurdler on their hands keen to take on Nicky Henderson’s Champion Hurdle hero.
Coral’s John Hill said: “Constitution Hill has looked unstoppable so far in his career and he is long odds-on to keep his unbeaten run going in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
“Nicky Henderson’s runner is already as short as 1/2 for this season’s Champion Hurdle and he can cement that position with a second success in the Grade One contest at Newcastle.”
Since his racecourse debut in December 2021, the closest any horse has managed to get to Constitution Hill is three lengths, on his most recent outing at Aintree, where he beat multiple Grade One winner Sharjah.
That followed a nine-lengths stroll in the Champion Hurdle over State Man, another Willie Mullins inmate with a list of successes at the highest level to his name.
There had earlier been wide-margin wins over his stablemate Epatante in both the Christmas Hurdle and this corresponding race last year – and she herself was a previous winner of the Champion Hurdle.
So far, he has not looked like being beaten and he will be a very short price at the weekend to maintain his unblemished record.
There is a previous winner of the Fighting Fifth among his likely opponents in the shape of Hughie Morrison’s veteran Not So Sleepy, who can be backed at 14/1 this time.
He dead-heated with Epatante in 2021 and was last seen running a good race to be seventh in the Cesarewitch.
There are two classy mares among his potential opponents, both having won the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Harry Fry’s Love Envoi (7/1) took the spoils in 2022 and was narrowly beaten by Honeysuckle back at Cheltenham in March while Jamie Snowden’s You Wear It Well (12/1) followed in her hoofprints last season.
You Wear It Well reappeared with a good win at Wetherby and is clearly on the up.
Snowden told Sky Sports Racing: “If you’re not in, you can’t run. Constitution Hill has obviously put a few people off.
“We’ve confirmed this morning, we’ll see what the weather does and see whether we take our chance.
“She obviously handles very soft ground at the minimum trip, so she will appreciate every bit of rain that falls.
“She should still be improving, she’s done very little wrong in her career. She’s only ever lost on her racecourse debut and in a couple of Grade Ones.
“Constitution Hill looks an absolute superstar, State Man couldn’t live with him and he’s a multiple Grade One winner, a superstar in his own right.
“It doesn’t look like he can be beaten but it’s the age-old thing, never be afraid of one horse.
“We’re living the dream at the moment and we’ll see how the week pans out and cross each bridge as it comes.”
Sandy Thomson’s Benson also runs but is 100/1.
1/5 Constitution Hill
7/1 Love Envoi
12/1 You Wear It Well
14/1 Not So Sleepy
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication