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Champion Hurdle: Nicky Henderson says Cheltenham Pageant the best place for Structure Hill and Honeysuckle to conflict | Racing Information | NEWSRUX

Nicky Henderson says he “could not rule out” a visit to Eire
with Structure Hill – however feels the Cheltenham Pageant is the perfect location
for a showdown with Honeysuckle.

Structure Hill made a formidable return to motion with a front-running 12-length demolition of stablemate Epatante in final Saturday’s Combating Fifth Hurdle, following on from his 22-length verdict within the Supreme on the Pageant again in March.

The unbeaten five-year-old is a normal 4-7 favorite for subsequent yr’s Champion Hurdle forward of Honeysuckle, the winner of the Cheltenham spotlight for the final two seasons who has but to be topped in 16 profession begins.

Constitution Hill
Structure Hill

Honeysuckle is because of kick off her marketing campaign in Sunday’s Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse – a race she has gained for the final three years earlier than occurring to Irish Champion Hurdle glory after which Cheltenham success.

Henderson is concentrating on the Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle with Structure Hill at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, however admits plans within the new yr are but to be determined and whereas an early conflict with Honeysuckle at Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Pageant shouldn’t be fully off the desk, the Seven Barrows coach would favor the headline conflict to happen at Cheltenham in March.

He stated: “I am keen on Honeysuckle, she is completely fabulous. We considered going to Punchestown final yr to take her on with Structure Hill, however Peter Molony (racing supervisor to Honeysuckle’s proprietor, Kenny Alexander) fairly rightly stated to me ‘how would you’re feeling if you happen to had been accountable for slaying Bambi!’.

“This yr we’re going to meet, I hope, as a result of all people needs to see it and it might be pretty if it was in March.

“We have a programme now that solely takes us as much as Christmas, it turns into harder after it and also you could not rule out a visit to Eire as a result of I am unable to see the Kingwell (at Wincanton on February 18) being a fantastic race for him and my favorite race, the Contenders at Sandown, has been thrown away.

Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle pose for the cameras after victory in the 2022 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham
Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle pose for the cameras after victory within the 2022 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham

“Consequently there’s Haydock’s Champion Hurdle Trial on January 21 which is a chance however that actually is about it, so it is fairly tough.

“It is both no extra runs or…I am unable to see the Honeysuckle-Structure Hill conflict occurring earlier than Cheltenham. I will not say it will likely be a pity if it did, however that may be the best place to have the showdown.”

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