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Cheltenham Festival

Constitution Hill News – Nicky Henderson Stable Star Ruled Out of Cheltenham

Nicky Henderson has confirmed the news that many racing fans feared as Constitution Hill has been ruled out of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival after the results of a blood test. The reigning Champion Hurdler had been diagnosed with a mild lung infection last week after he disappointed in a routine piece of work in the build-up to defending his crown.

As a result of last week’s update, he had drifted out to second favourite in most markets without Non Runner No Bet terms. Last year’s runner-up, State Man, had moved into favouritism as a result and has only shortened further after this news as he seeks a second Cheltenham Festival success, having been victorious in the 2022 County Hurdle.

Constitution Hill’s absence from the race leaves 17 still in with a chance of running, and Henderson’s team will now be playing the underdog with their mare Luccia, who is an intended runner in the race. It is also possible that Lossiemouth and Irish Point, who are short prices for the Mares’ Hurdle and Stayers’ Hurdle respectively, could be rerouted to this race in order to give State Man a serious challenge.

It has not yet been confirmed whether Constitution Hill will race again this season and so he may still turn up at Aintree or Punchestown in the spring. He was also the winner of the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle last season after winning his first Champion Hurdle.