Punchestown Festival: Nicky Henderson not ruling out Champion Hurdle clash between Constitution Hill and Honeysuckle | Racing News

Nicky Henderson and Constitution Hill’s owner Michael Buckley are likely to sit down next week and decide which race the superstar novice hurdler will run in at Punchestown.

The five-year-old had clock-watcher’s purring when winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in a time much quicker than that which saw Honeysuckle land a second Champion Hurdle two hours later.

That led Buckley into thinking he would love to have a crack at the unbeaten Honeysuckle in her own backyard. But Henderson is less sold on the idea, given his youngster has only had three races under rules in his career.

Constitution Hill clears the last in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival
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Constitution Hill clears the last in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival

“We’re entering for both the novice and the Champion and Michael Buckley and I will sit down next week to decide which way we go,” Henderson told Sky Sports Racing.

“I think everybody knows who wants to go where. I’m more conservative than Michael, put it like that.

“I’m all for keeping novices in novice company. He’s only five. That is not to say it’s an impossibility. I know Michael is dying to have a crack at Honeysuckle, I just feel there is plenty of time for that to happen.

“It’s not necessarily totally against my wishes. It is something we will discuss and we’ll probably come up with the wrong answer!”

Jonbon cruises to victory at Ascot
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Jonbon cruises to victory at Ascot earlier this season

Jonbon will stay at two miles for the Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree on Friday. Henderson had also given him an entry in Saturday’s Mersey Novices’ Hurdle over two-and-a-half miles.

He lost his unbeaten record to stablemate Constitution Hill at Cheltenham, but time may prove he faced an impossible task that day.

“He’s had a fantastic year, the only horse who’s beaten him is Constitution Hill and he deserves a Grade One before we put him to bed. He’s going to make a lovely chaser next year,” Henderson told Sky Sports Racing.


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