Unibet Tolworth Hurdle
|Grade 1, Sandown 14:25
1m 7f 216y, Class 1
1 Constitution Hill 2/5F
2 Jetoile 14/1
3 Mr Glass 9/1
6 ran Distances: 12l, 6½l, 7l
Time: 4m 22.90s (slow by 30.90s)
Looking good for the Supreme Novices' at The Festival after Constitution Hill extends his unbeaten record in the @UnibetRacing Tolworth Hurdle for @sevenbarrows @Sandownpark pic.twitter.com/EMLO1eOtSu https://t.co/cno9kk1xqL via @RacingBetter— RacingBetter (@RacingBetter) January 10, 2022
The Nicky Henderson-trained Constitution Hill lived up to his tall reputation to put in a top-class display to land the odds in the Grade One contest at Sandown.
However, Henderson was not at the track to see his sixth winner of the race as he is in self-isolation at home after testing positive for Covid-19.
Conditions may have been much heavier than on his debut, but Constitution Hill coped admirably with the heavy ground under a confident ride by Nico de Boinville.
Jetoile made the running until the second-last flight, where Constitution Hill took over and was soon in command. Clear at the last, the Michael Buckley-owned winner went on to score by 12 lengths from the game Jetoile.
For Henderson it was relief all round, as he watched on from his Seven Barrows base in Lambourn.
“Watching it from home is not like being there. It is worse. I would rather drive to Newcastle and watch it live than sat here. Sat here on my own, talking to myself, it is harder at home than watching it on a racecourse,” he said.
“I have got covid, but that is the best medicine you can get in the world. That would kill anything.”
He went on: “He was staggering. We had no idea about the ground – it was proper Sandown heavy ground. When he won there before it was good to soft, but pretty soft all the same.
“I just had a long chat with Barry Geraghty, who was the person who told me to buy him and he is a good friend of Michael’s as well and it is thanks to Barry really. You just have to say that was a staggering performance in any ground.
“I talked to Barry and Nico and we are pretty sure he is a two-miler. You are not going to run him on fast ground – and at Cheltenham you are not going to get fast ground. It never does these days.
Unibet Tolworth Hurdle (Grade 1 Novices' Hurdle)
£70,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 216y, Class 1
POS. DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 Constitution Hill 5 11-7 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 2/5F
2 12 Jetoile 7 11-7 Ryan Potter Lorcan Williams 14/1
3 6½ Mr Glass 6 11-7 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 9/1
4 7 Shallwehaveonemore 5 11-7 Gary Moore Jamie Moore 11/2
5 46 Whizz Kid 6 11-7 Dr Richard Newland Sam Twiston-Davies 40/1
PU Datsalrightgino 6 11-7 Jamie Snowden Gavin Sheehan 22/1