The Statesman ‘Now Assesses Hill Constitution’s Biggest Threat’ | Horse racing news

Graeme Rodway with his pound-for-pound assessment of how the best chasers, hurdlers, trainers and jockeys match up

Introducing the new Racing Post Power Rankings: Do you agree with Graeme Rodway’s picks?

Movers and shakers: Followers

We’re right in the middle of the best part of the jumping season – bar Cheltenham – and the Betfair Chase is the biggest sitting contest outside the King George and Gold Cup.

Protektorat produced a powerful display to beat his rivals by 11 lengths in the Haydock feature and that moves him nine places into sixth. With Allaho on the sidelines, Protektorat is now one of the big threats to the top ranked A Plus Late in the remaining division.

A Plus Tard was beaten behind Protektorat but kept his first place as he weakened rapidly at Haydock and obviously did not show his true form. Having won the Gold Cup last season, he is still the one to beat at Cheltenham and slipping to 10-1 for that race is an overreaction.

The other big mover is last season’s King George winner Tornado Flyer, who won the upgrade thanks to a step ahead of new Grade 1 winner Blue Lord in the Clonmel Oil Chase. He conceded 4lb in front of the winner and almost got up to win close to home.

This was a superb effort that seems to have gone largely unnoticed and should set him up nicely for a successful season.

Tornado Flyer is seven places higher than King George favorite Bravemansgame in 14th but will miss that target so it will be interesting to see where Willie Mullins sends him next.

Movers and shakers: Obstacles

Constitution Hill was already Top of the Pops before Epatante’s 12-length demolition in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and the performance confirmed his position ahead of Honeysuckle in the pecking order. He just needs to stay in shape to dominate the division.

Honeysuckle will make her return in Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse this weekend but will need to produce an impressive performance to regain second place in the State Man. He produced a stunning performance in Morgiana and the young progressive is up ten places.

Constitution Hill and State Man are both only five, but Honeysuckle will be nine in a month and I’m sure we’ll see a changing of the guard as the season progresses. With the packs still on Honeysuckle, State Man now assesses the biggest threat to Constitution Hill.

Goshen is back in the top ten after his victory in the Ascot Hurdle when he made short work of some smart rivals. On a right-handed track, he is Britain’s second best hurdler.

Champ was the biggest performer further down the ranks and his narrow defeat of Paisley Park in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury meant he moved up seven places. Three behind the legendary Paisley Park, who I am convinced is still the best horse of the pair. Paisley Park will likely be able to reverse Newbury’s form on a softer ground at Cheltenham.

Not So Sleepy’s heavy defeat behind Constitution Hill means he drops to 14th out of 20th on the list.

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