A BATTLE between Nicky Henderson's Constitution Hill and Henry de Bromhead's Honeysuckle at the Punchestown Festival will not be happening.
Honeysuckle is unbeaten in 15 races and won the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival more recently.
Paddy Power offered a £100,000 bonus if the British horse ended the streak, but that won't be happening.
Henderson told the Nick Luck Daily Podcast: "We'd been umming and ahhing for a good fortnight now.
It was very tempting but we had the horse all prepped up for Cheltenham. Bear in mind he's still a big, quite raw, five-year-old. He's only had three races in his life. His future is so big.
"I think he can be a better horse, more built up and stronger, in a year's time and I'd rather finish on a good note with it all in front of him.
There's all the time in the world to meet Honeysuckle and hopefully it will be in March. Constitution Hill will definitely stay over hurdles.
He can have a proper campaign next season but to go over there and do this against what is undoubtedly a very, very good mare wasn't something in his interest or to his benefit."
"I think a nice field and a summer out is going to be of more benefit and build up his frame a little more so we have a more mature and stronger horse next year. So we've reluctantly declined all the temptations.
"It is possible Epatante will run though. She's going to go over there. There is a mares' two-and-a-half mile hurdle and Marie's Rock will run in that while Epatante might go either way."
Honeysuckle 🆚️ Constitution Hill in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle is off! ❌️
Let's be honest, it was never happening was it! pic.twitter.com/GZbH7etWp5
— Stephen R Power (@racingblogger) April 18, 2022
Honeysuckle’s trainer Henry de Bromhead previously suggested a meeting of the two top horses would be "fascinating" to watch.
“What she has achieved, no other horse has achieved," de Bromhead told media outlet Racing TV.
“Obviously, Constitution Hill was extremely impressive, all his figures were unreal, but she’s just so consistently at the top. I can’t answer who would win it, but I think it would be fascinating if they did take us on and wouldn’t it be amazing for the sport.”