Monday, November 28, 2022
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Barry Geraghty tips: Constitution Hill will lead home a Nicky Henderson 1-2 plus all my Newbury picks

NICKY HENDERSON was bang on to pull Constitution Hill out of Ascot last Saturday.

I just think it’s a pity so much was made of it and that he’s had to argue his case so much.

Geraghty insists Henderson did the right thing in pulling Constitution Hill out of running at Ascot – and can make amends at Newcastle
Marc Aspland – The Times

It was the right call.

Look, good ground or good to soft in places in November is very different from that description in March.

In the spring you’ve had a whole winter’s rain and this year racecourses are coming off a very hot, dry summer.

That means that it can be like concrete just four inches below, and that’s what does the damage.

Constitution Hill is a big, robust jumping horse and not the sort you would run on a quick surface.

You can’t take risks and Nicky’s judgement was sensible, especially for the first run of the season.


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It will be great to see Constitution Hill against stablemate Epatante in this afternoon’s Fighting Fifth.

It goes without saying Epatante has been an amazing mare, and she was brilliant last season… but what Constitution Hill did in the Supreme was better than anything we’ve seen in a very long time.

Newcastle is a straightforward track and the ground should suit so I can see Constitution Hill leading home a Seven Barrows one-two.

The big race of the day at Newbury is the Hennessy — or, as it is now called — the Coral Gold Cup.

I like the chances of both Corach Rambler and Gericault Roque, but FIDDLERONTHEROOF (3.05) just about gets my vote.

He’s a high-class horse, is still only eight and he’s ultra-consistent. He ran a great race in this 12 months ago, was fifth in the Grand National in April and he might be able to go one better today.

There’s a good buzz around the Joseph O’Brien yard for Busselton too, and if he can win this, he’s a horse with a serious future.

In the Grade 2 novices’ chase (12:45) Gelino Bello has more potential for improvement than THYME HILL, in addition to carrying three pounds less.

Other runners I’ll be looking out for today are LUCCIA (12:15) and WALKING ON AIR (1:55), both from Seven Barrows.

Luccia was so impressive at Sandown last season, winning by 17 lengths, that she should be very hard to beat with the expected natural progression, and I’m expecting similar from Walking On Air.

It might only be his third start over hurdles, but that won’t be an issue coming from Henderson’s yard. I’d be very sweet on him.


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