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HomeSportsAfter heavy rain, Constitution Hill and Shishkin are retreated

After heavy rain, Constitution Hill and Shishkin are retreated

  • Withdrawal from Sandown
  • Constitution Hill’s racing dominance
  • Sandown’s spectator dynamics

Nicky Henderson has withdrawn Shishkin and Constitution Hill from the Fighting Fifth Hurdle rearranged at Sandown. Despite the 7.30 a.m. inspection of the meeting being successful, precipitation continued to fall throughout the morning on the hurdles track, which was already soaked; conditions are being monitored.

Champion of the Hurdle Last weekend, Newcastle was scheduled to host the seasonal return of Constitution Hill; however, the meeting was cancelled, and the Fighting Fifth was rescheduled to Sandown. Shishkin was also an intended entrant at Newcastle in the Rehearsal Chase; however, Henderson declared him alongside his stablemate to get a prep run in before the King George.

Henderson’s Decisions and Statements

Jonbon and Willmount, a potential novice hurdler, will not race at Sandown or earlier. However, Jonbon remains a designated starter in the Tingle Creek.

Henderson stated on X, formerly known as Twitter: “We have decided that Constitution Hill will not compete in today’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Sandown due to the extremely testing conditions. It would be unfair to run him under such extreme conditions on his first run of the season.” He will head to Kempton for the Christmas Hurdle since it is too close to Boxing Day to do both.

“Shishkin and Willmount have both been withdrawn from their scheduled races in the Listed Novices’ Hurdle.” Regarding Jonbon, he further stated, “He has run, so he is in good health, and the chase course’s terrain is considerably more suitable.” “While it is deeply regrettable that they will be absent. It is imperative that our attention be directed towards the horses. This is a simple matter.” The PA Media
Is Constitution Hill’s prosperity detrimental to the sport of racing?

Is it ever possible for a racehorse to be too good? The obvious answer is no if it appears in your colour scheme. Recently stated, “It is an honour to be entrusted with such a magnificent horse,” said Michael Buckley, the proprietor of Constitution Hill. “You can purchase many horses, but getting one that is so exceptional is a gift in itself. It’s a delight and a thrill, and the nerve-wracking moments [when he races] are an inevitable part of the experience. “In any case, I’d rather have the concerns than not have the horse.”

Sandown’s Perspective and Spectator Dynamics

However, the situation may not be from the perspective of the racecourses that host the event. Before the meeting’s cancellation, Constitution Hill was a 1-5 favourite for the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle last weekend. She was priced similarly for the rescheduled race at Sandown on Saturday.

At first glance, this did not offer the pre-Christmas audience excessive uncertainty or suspense. Many tracks are still struggling to regain pre-Covid attendance. Could less quality and more competition help?

Sarah Drabwell, Sandown’s general manager, believes no and provides evidence. “During my tenure as finance director [for Jockey Club Racecourses], I conducted a substantial amount of multi-linear regression analysis in order to determine the true factors that influence consumers’ purchasing decisions,” Drabwell explained.

“In our investigation into customer price sensitivity, we discovered that the initial 1,500 patrons of Sandown do not exhibit price sensitivity.” Racing fans will reserve seats for your events out of passion.

“The following group, which may consist of 500 to 10,000 individuals, is price-conscious and in search of an enjoyable excursion.” Following that, an additional group is price-insensitive and only attends when the headliners are revealed.

“We observed this on the final day of AP McCoy’s [in 2015], when it was sold out in excess of 18,000 units, and we also observe it prior to Finals Day [in April], when the most frequently asked question is which horses will be included in the parade of champions.” Does Constitution Hill approach? Arrives Shishkin? Visitors are likely to visit Constitution Hill despite his mere grass-eating activity.

Celebrity Names and Spectator Allure at Sandown

In contrast, the feature race bears the name of a former prominent figure at the track, joining Desert Orchid, Moscow Flyer, Kauto Star, and Sprinter Sacre on its roster of honoured competitors that captivated spectators. Sandown is so sure that celebrity names attract spectators that it illuminates them for the thousands of aimless motorists who pass by the track daily while waiting forever at the Scilly Isles roundabout.

An essential distinction between Desert Orchid, a contemporary champion, and Constitution Hill is that traditional chasers frequently compete in handicap races and run every three to four weeks during the season.

The proposal to send Constitution Hill over fences has been suspended, potentially permanently. His next seasons may include two outings before the Cheltenham Festival in March and one in April.

Might there be a juncture at which the absence of a narrative structure, which signifies the story’s development towards a resolution, begins to resemble Groundhog Day? Logically, perhaps. Nevertheless, Constitution Hill exemplifies that exceedingly uncommon athlete whose brilliance is immediately apparent in every sport. It takes only one observation of him to realise that his operations are wholly distinct from his adversaries.


If this attracts additional spectators and reminds lapsing owners and racegoers of the initial fascination that captivated them. It results in a minor absence of exhilarating tension, which is undoubtedly a negligible sacrifice.

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