Stable star home safe from hospital after ‘traumatic few days’

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  • National Hunt trainer Nicky Henderson said he is delighted to have stable star Constitution Hill home, after he was taken to hospital with suspected colic.

    Michael Buckley’s seven-year-old had to be taken in for monitoring on Wednesday night (27 March), during what Mr Henderson described as a “few traumatic days”, but returned to his Lambourn home at Seven Barrows yesterday (1 April).

    The six-time champion trainer, who had to declare a number of his horses as non-runners at Cheltenham last month, said it was “wonderful to have him home after what he has endured”.

    “He resumed normal feed yesterday with no further ill effects and had a nice pick of grass in the welcome sunshine,” he added. “Hopefully, this is all behind him now, but I am afraid it is easy to see he had a difficult week and the reality is he is going to take some time to recover and put some weight back on again.”

    It had been hoped that Constitution Hill, who won the Champion Hurdle at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, would be rerouted to Punchestown’s festival in Ireland (30 April–4 May), having missed the chance to defend his Champion Hurdle crown in March owing to a respiratory infection. But this proposed run is now off the cards.

    “As long as he is okay, that is all that matters, but it has been a horrible few months since his great performance in the Christmas Hurdle,” Mr Henderson said. “It is time for him to have a summer holiday now and look forward to his return, hopefully in the Fighting Fifth [at Newcastle on 30 November].”

    Mr Henderson was keen to express his gratitude to the many people who have supported him and Constitution Hill.

    “Michael Buckley and I and all at Seven Barrows would like to thank the literally thousands of Constitution Hill supporters for all their kind messages. I would like to say they are appreciated by him, but they certainly are by all of us! I would also like to thank the vets,” he said.

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