Sandown’s Betfair Tingle Creek card has passed a morning inspection but with further rain forecast conditions are still being monitored - and Constitution Hill and Shishkin won't run in the Fighting Fifth.
Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper felt the course was raceable before the scheduled 7.30am precautionary inspection, however, with up to another six millimetres and possibly more rain still to fall, he will be keeping a close eye on how the course is shaping up.
As well as the Tingle Creek the meeting features the rearranged Fighting Fifth Hurdle, saved from Newcastle’s abandoned meeting last week, but with the Nicky Henderson-trained pair of Constitution Hill and Shishkin taken out Love Envoi is the new favourite.
Chepstow inspected for a second time at 8.30am and despite 20 millimetres of rain since midnight the course was still raceable.
Champion Hurdle winner Constitution Hill was supposed to make his seasonal reappearance at Newcastle last weekend but the meeting was abandoned with the Fighting Fifth moved to Sandown.
Shishkin was an intended runner at Newcastle also, in the Rehearsal Chase, but in an attempt to get a prep run into him before the King George, Henderson had declared him alongside his stablemate.
However, neither will run at Sandown, nor will promising novice hurdler Willmount in an earlier race but Jonbon is still an intended starter in the Tingle Creek. Jonbon's task has been made even easier with Boothill taken out due to the ground.
Henderson said on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Due to the extremely testing going, we have decided that Constitution Hill will not run in today’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Sandown because it would simply not be fair to race him under such extreme conditions on his first run of the season.
“It is too close to Boxing Day, and he can’t do both, so, all being well, he’ll go straight to Kempton for the Christmas Hurdle.
“Shishkin has also been withdrawn, along with Willmount from his intended engagement in the Listed Novices’ Hurdle.”
As for Jonbon he added: “He has had a run so is fit and well, and the ground is much more suitable on the chase course. It is very unfortunate, and we are all sorry they won’t be turning up, but we have to put the horses first — it’s as simple as that.”
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