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Mouthwatering clash between Cheltenham stars at Punchestown still in the mix

Connections of Constitution Hill are likely to consider next month’s Punchestown Festival for the ultra-impressive Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner.

Owner Michael Buckley has yet to speak to trainer Nicky Henderson – but revealed his brilliant prospect will “probably” be given entries in both the Champion Novice Hurdle and the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle.

Buckley is not entirely sold on the idea on going for the latter race, and was glad he did not have the temptation of taking on Honeysuckle at Cheltenham, even though the performance of his five-year-old was a serious one both visually and on the clock, breaking the track record.

“I haven’t spoken to Nicky yet, but I think we’ll just see how the horse is, probably enter him at Punchestown probably for both races and then see how he is. But it would be a terrible shame to do something really dumb,” he told Sky Sports Racing.

Michael Buckley, owner of Constitution Hill
Michael Buckley, owner of Constitution Hill (Mike Egerton/PA)

“It’s all very well saying it works out at 30 lengths difference or 20 lengths difference on the times, but races are different. They are run differently. You can’t take one that is in one way and another one in another way.

“We had a horse which was very quick out of the blocks and led the field at a huge pace. The Champion Hurdle was a different type of race.

“We’d have been mad to do it (run in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham), with a horse that had had two runs and been to a racecourse twice. It’s not like a Flat horse that’s had a Flat campaign and now gone hurdling. He’s so inexperienced. I kind of said to Nicky that one thing about not entering is we don’t have the temptation.”

Honeysuckle’s trainer Henry de Bromhead believes it would be great for racing if the pair did clash at Punchestown.

“It would be brilliant. It’s what racing is about. I think it would be fantastic. If Michael is brave enough to take us on, fair play to him,” he told Racing TV.

“What she has achieved, no other horse has achieved it.

“I wouldn’t dare to say she is going to beat Constitution Hill. I can’t answer that. What she’s achieved is way beyond a lot of horses.

“Obviously, Constitution Hill was extremely impressive, all his figures were unreal, but she’s just so consistently at the top. I can’t answer who would win it, but I think it would be fascinating if they do takes us on and wouldn’t it be amazing for the sport.”

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