Constitution Hill’s season ended by ‘traumatic’ bout of colic

Constitution Hill – Constitution Hill's season ended by 'traumatic' bout of colic
Constitution Hill has only raced once this season, on Boxing Day at the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton - Getty Images/David Davies

The chances of Constitution Hill racing again this season have all but disappeared after Nicky Henderson revealed the 2023 Champion Hurdle winner was under supervision in an equine hospital after showing signs of colic.

In the worst of such situations, vets have to operate to untwist or remove a length of gut. In the best, it can be walked off round the yard.

Constitution Hill’s colic appears to be somewhere between the two. “We’ve had a few traumatic days with poor Constitution Hill as he had to go to the veterinary hospital on Wednesday in order to monitor a suspected colic,” Henderson announced on X. “I’m pleased to say that they have managed to avoid surgery so far and that this morning he is being reintroduced to a normal diet.

If that goes well, he can come home in the next day or so. He’s not completely out of the woods but we’re very hopeful he will soon be back, which will be an enormous relief.” Ironically, the news came only a few days after Henderson had announced that a showdown with this year’s Champion Hurdle winner, State Man, was possible at Punchestown next month. It has been a season to forget in more ways than one for Constitution Hill, the best hurdler on the planet.

His pre-Christmas outing in the Fighting Fifth was abandoned when the gelding was three-quarters of the way to Newcastle, and the ground was deemed too heavy when the race was rescheduled at Sandown. He breezed through the Christmas Hurdle, looking even more impressive when held up than making the running, but has since missed the International and Champion Hurdle because of a lung infection.

Irish racing gathers at Fairyhouse today for one of its iconic chases, the Boylesports Irish Grand National. It took Willie Mullins an inordinately long time to win it for the first time with Burrows Saint in 2019. He won it again last year with I Am Maximus, second favourite for this year’s Grand National on Saturday week, but the novice chaser Nick Rockett can give him a third victory in five years on just his fourth start over fences, fifth if you include his point-to-point.

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