Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
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Constitution Hill: will face four rivals including stablemate Epatante in the Fighting Fifth
Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
By Charlie Huggins
Stunning Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Constitution Hill will face four rivals on his seasonal reappearance in the Grade 1 Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2.10) at Newcastle on Saturday.
Gordon Elliott revealed he would be taking out his dual Grade 2-winning hurdler Pied Piper on Wednesday, seemingly leaving a straight Seven Barrows shootout between Constitution Hill and Epatante, who won this race in 2020 and dead-heated with Not So Sleepy last year.
The latter, trained by Hughie Morrison, is back for more and will be ridden by Jonathan Burke, who has enjoyed big Saturday winners at Ascot and Cheltenham this month. Tommy’s Oscar reverts to hurdles after two chase runs including a decent second in a Cheltenham Grade 2 last time. Voix Du Reve completes the quintet.
Constitution Hill has won all three starts under rules by a combined 48 lengths in top-level contests such as the Tolworth Hurdle and the Supreme. The Michael Buckley-owned five-year-old’s comeback has been hotly anticipated having been installed the clear favorite for the Champion Hurdle, a race Epatante landed in 2020.
Constitution Hill was taken out at Ascot last Saturday and there was speculation that he may wait another week for the International Hurdle at Cheltenham, a race his trainer, owner and jockey Nico de Boinville combined to win with Brain Power in 2018.
However, the green light has been given for Constitution Hill to return to Newcastle, much to the delight of Betfair spokesman Barry Orr.
Orr said: “It’s the biggest clash of the season and all eyes will be on Constitution Hill as he encounters open company for the first time. Some punters have tasty ante-post vouchers for him having been odds against in that market but since confirmation of his participation he has contracted from 4-11 to 1-4.”
Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle runners and riders
Constitution Hill Nico de Boinville
Not So Sleepy Jonathan Burke
Tommy’s Oscar Danny McMenamin
Voix Du Reve Conor O’Farrell
Epatante Aidan Coleman
Betfair: 1-4 Constitution Hill, 7-2 Epatante, 14-1 Not So Sleepy, 25-1 Tommy’s Oscar, 100-1 Voix Du Reve
Fanion D’Estruval heads 16-runner Coral Gold Cup field
Fanion D’Estruval heads the weights for last year’s winning trainer Venetia Williams in a 16-runner field for Saturday’s Coral Gold Cup (3.05) at Newbury.
Williams, who combined with Charlie Deutsch for a 33-1 upset with Cloudy Glen last year, opted to take out her Kim Muir winner Chambard with Sam Brown and Chantry House the other horses scratched at the final declaration stage on Thursday morning.
Conditional Lucy Turner will take 5lb off Fanion D’Estruval, with Deutsch heading to Newcastle to ride Brown Advisory winner L’Homme Presse in the Betfair Exchange Rehearsal Handicap Chase (3.25).
The Cheltenham Festival winner was due to make his seasonal reappearance in the Grade 2 Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase at Ascot last Saturday, but will instead carry top weight in the day’s secondary premier handicap to the Coral Gold Cup.
Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)
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Fiddlerontheroof (left): bids to go one better than last year in Saturday’s Coral Gold Cup
Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)
Fiddlerontheroof attempts to go one better than when chasing home Cloudy Glen in the £250,000 handicap as one of three entries for Joe Tizzard in Newbury’s feature event. Native River and Sizing Tennessee won the race when trained by Tizzard’s father Colin in 2016 and 2018 respectively, with Lostintranslation and Oscar Elite out to help improve that record.
The trainer’s nephew Freddie Gingell rides Lostintranslation with Harry Cobden picking up the spare on Oscar Elite, who bids to reverse the form with Ultima winner Corach Rambler.
Tom Scudamore attempts to become the winningmost rider in the race’s history aboard David Pipe’s Gericault Roque, with David Noonan hoping for better fortune on Remastered for the same trainer, with the ante-post favorite having fallen when traveling well at the fourth-last fence in 2021.
JJ Slevin and Joseph O’Brien have already teamed up to great effect in Britain this month with Banbridge’s Grade 2 win at Cheltenham and could create history with Busselton bidding to become the first five-year-old winner of the race since its inauguration in 1957 .
Earlier on the card at Newbury, impressive Listed bumper winner Luccia makes her hurdling debut in the Play Coral “Racing-Super-Series” For Free Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (12.15) on a huge day for Henderson. Champion Bumper sixth Poetic Music will provide stiff competition for the unbeaten filly in the Listed contest.
Henderson is also responsible for Theater Glory and First Street, the two highest-rated horses in eight-runner line-up in the Gerry Feilden (2.30).
Grade 1-winning hurdler Thyme Hill and the Paul Nicholls pair of McFabulous and Gelino Bello clash in an intriguing Grade 2 Coral John Francome Novices’ Chase (12.45). Nicholls also has Kapcorse going for back-to-back wins in the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase (1.20).
Coral Gold Cup runners and riders
Fanion D’Estruval Lucy Turner (5)
Fiddlerontheroof Brendan Powell
Threeunderthrufive Adrian Heskin
Lostintranslation Freddie Gingell (7)
Busselton JJ Slevin
Potterman Tom Cannon
Corach Rambler Derek Fox
Le Milos Harry Skelton
Remastered David Noonan
Our Power Sam Twiston-Davies
Gericault Roque Tom Scudamore
Oscar Elite Harry Cobden
Annsam Adam Wedge
Lord Accord Richie McLernon
Red Happy Philip Armson
Diablo De Rouhet Jack Tudor
Coral: 6 Le Milos, 7 Corach Rambler, Threeunderthrufive, 15-2 Remastered, 8 Busselton, Gericault Roque, Oscar Elite, 10 Fiddlerontheroof, Our Power, 12 Lord Accord, 16 Annsam, 25 Lostintranslation, 33 Diablo De Rouhet, Fanion D’Estruval, Potterman, 100 Red Happy
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FIRST PUBLISHED 10:54AM, NOV 24 2022