Nicky Henderson is set to announce next week whether Constitution Hill will remain over hurdles or pursue a fencing career this season.
The undoubted star of National Hunt racing has won each of his seven starts over the smaller obstacles to date, including a brilliant victory in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
With autumn fast approaching, connections must now decide whether to head down the same route this term or change tack – and the eagerly-anticipated news appears imminent.
Speaking to Newbury Today, Henderson said: “We’ll announce what we’re doing next week.
“We’re still to-ing and fro-ing, so many things have to go right so whatever we do is a bit of a risk.
“We won’t send him chasing unless we’re absolutely sure.
“He’s had a great summer and we’re still weighing up our options.”
The key to the decision appears to be whether the Seven Barrows handler feels the Michael Buckley-owned Constitution Hill possesses the required stamina to at some stage have a crack at the Cheltenham Gold Cup over three and a quarter miles.
Legendary mare Dawn Run is the only horse to win the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup, and only a potential repeat of that famous double will tempt Henderson to go over the larger obstacles with his pride and joy.
He added: “There’s no point switching to fences just to win the Champion Chase now, because you might as well win the Champion Hurdle again.”
Meanwhile, Nico de Boinville, who has been ever present in the saddle during Constitution Hill’s career so far, is relishing the opportunity to be reunited with the six-year-old in the coming months.
De Boinville – who will be in action on the Flat on Thursday when he rides the David Simcock-trained Fulfilled in the Everyone’s Booking Fit Show 2025 Jump Jockeys Derby at Epsom – said: “Last season with Constitution Hill was fantastic, everyone really enjoyed it and we have all had a bit of time to reflect on what he did.
“I thought last season’s Cheltenham Festival was great and it was fantastic to play our small part in it in winning the Champion Hurdle.
“Constitution Hill has spent the summer at Charlie Vigors’ (Hillwood Stud) and he has come back in looking well and I can’t wait to get going with him again. ”
On his upcoming mount at the home of the Derby, he added: “I’ve not ridden for David Simcock since my amateur days so I’m very much looking forward to it.
“It is my second ride in the race, but I’ve had a couple of other rides around Epsom as an amateur.
“It will be very competitive for sure, but I will be giving it a good go. As long as I beat David Bass I will be happy!”