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The weather forecast for Saturday’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle has caused the Constitution Hill team to consider alternative options for the seasonal return of their star hurdler.
Winner of the Fighting Fifth twelve months ago, Constitution Hill is set to be joined by stablemate Shishkin on the journey up to Gosforth Park, after the chaser failed to start in last week's 1965 Chase at Ascot.
In an interview with Sky Sports Racing, Constitution Hill's owner Michael Buckley said: "I'm told the forecast is actually quite dire – Nicky told me this morning he'd had a phone call and they were saying temperatures might get down to minus 8C or 10, with only minus 1C in the day. If that happens I think any racing on Saturday might be in a bit of trouble.
"Newcastle last year was such a thrilling day and the crowd were so nice there. I'd never been to Newcastle before and I was looking forward to it, so I hope it all happens [again].
"I think it's going to be pretty tough for Nicky, because both horses [Constitution Hill and Shishkin] are going there and if everything goes well with them the idea was that they would both go to Kempton.
"There's two things – there's nothing suitable between now and then and there isn't any time. It's only three weeks from Saturday until Boxing Day."
The Newcastle area is set to be hit by freezing temperatures in the coming days, with lows of -5 on Friday and Saturday.