Structure Hill’s run on the opening day of subsequent month’s Grand National assembly at Aintree may very well be his final over hurdles, in response to coach Nicky Henderson.
However the way forward for the Michael Buckley-owned gelding, who’s unbeaten in his six races, is trying increasingly more prone to be in chasing, with Henderson hoping to highschool the six-year-old over fences earlier than he embarks on his summer season holidays.
The gelding’s run within the Grade One £250,000 William Hill Aintree Hurdle on April 13 would be the first time Nico de Boinville’s mount has raced underneath guidelines over two-and-a-half miles, though as a four-year-old Structure Hill did run in a three-mile Irish point-to-point.
Henderson mentioned: ‘It’s doable Aintree may very well be his final run over hurdles. There are extra alternatives over fences to start out with, which may result in the Arkle (Novices’ Chase) and the Champion Chase or perhaps even the Gold Cup if he stays.
Structure Hill is because of run within the Aintree Hurdle on the Grand Nationwide assembly on April 13
Unbeaten gelding claimed an excellent nine-length win within the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham
‘An actual celebrity is a horse that may adapt to every part.’
Requested when a call could be made on whether or not to go chasing, Henderson mentioned: ‘It would all occur after Aintree. Michael was down right here the opposite day and we mentioned what we might in all probability strive, about 10 days after Aintree if the bottom hasn’t dried up too rapidly, is to highschool him over fences and that can give us an thought. Then we’ve got the entire summer season to debate it.
‘As soon as we’ve had one take a look at him education over fences, Nico will know, and Michael and I’ll know fairly properly what the choices are then.
‘He’s obtained to be taught to leap somewhat than hurdle. It may very well be that he’s obtained completely the improper approach, however I’d be very shocked.
‘He’s such an clever horse that I feel he’ll quickly realise, in all probability by simply rubbing a fence. He’ll say, “Oh wow, someone’s raised the bar and now we’ll do one thing about it”. It would in all probability take him one mistake to work it out.’
Requested what Structure Hill may doubtlessly obtain sooner or later, Henderson replied: ‘You’ll be able to by no means assume something as a result of there are such a lot of potholes alongside the street. They’ve obtained to remain sound and so they’ve obtained to remain wholesome.’
Structure Hill’s preparation for Aintree has gone properly and Henderson added: ‘We’ve the benefit this yr of the four-week hole between the 2 (Cheltenham and Aintree) when it’s usually three.
‘This time final yr there was loads of discuss him working once more (after Cheltenham) however in my thoughts there was no probability of him working once more and he didn’t after profitable the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
‘He was solely a younger horse and that took quite a bit out of him. He didn’t come out of Cheltenham in any respect properly final yr.
‘This yr is totally completely different. If it had been a three-week hole, he’d be going to Aintree. Contact wooden, he appears to be like incredible. I don’t assume he’s ever regarded higher in his pores and skin. He appears to be like in nice well being.
‘Cheltenham takes quite a bit out of any horse, nevertheless straightforward you assume it’s been for him. (The Champion Hurdle win) regarded very simple and easy and also you may say, “He hasn’t even had a tough race”.
‘However you’ve obtained to keep in mind that in case you’re doing issues to the usual he’s doing them to, then you possibly can solely do it by placing in 110 per cent.
‘So it nonetheless has an affect and also you’ve nonetheless obtained to get better in the identical approach as a horse that’s completed very drained.’
Structure Hill will do his first piece of correct work since Cheltenham this weekend.
Coach Nicky Henderson is happy with Structure Hill’s preparation for Aintree
Requested if he had any considerations in regards to the horse going up in distance, Henderson mentioned: ‘Due to his incredible mind-set, you possibly can trip him in several methods. He doesn’t pull or do something.
‘Nico can trip him from the entrance or he can trip him from the again. He can go wherever he likes with him.
‘He can trip him a bit of bit extra conservatively, as a result of it’s two-and-a-half miles, however he’s not going to drop him out the again.
‘He’ll fall asleep for so long as you want and also you’ll in all probability go for two-and-a-quarter miles earlier than you ask a query of him, as an alternative of a mile-and-six and asking a query.’