Constitution Hill Raises The Bar!

'Everything was brilliant about him and he jumped like a proper Champion Hurdle horse'

Constitution Hill started 1-4 favourite for the Fighting Fifth on Saturday, having smashed the track record in the Supreme Novices’ at Cheltenham last spring. A dominant winning display at Newcastle ensured he displaced dual winner Honeysuckle as favourite for the Unibet Champion Hurdle at next year’s Cheltenham Festival.

Constitution Hill was certainly worth the wait in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday (Pic – Facebook)

Withdrawal on ground trainer Nicky Henderson deemed unsuitably quick at Ascot last weekend, the 5-year-old joined stablemate Epatante on the trip up north to contest the first Grade 1 hurdle of the season.

Constitution Hill was always travelling strongly under Nico de Boinville, who sent him to the front from the off, allowing him to make full use of his mount’s brilliantly slick jumping. He also showed plenty of pace between the flights and simply ran away from his rivals when asked to quicken from the third-last flight.

He passed the post 12 lengths clear of dual previous winner Epatante, with another two and a quarter back to Not So Sleepy, who dead-heated for first last year.

Jockey Nico De Boinville looked relaxed before and during Constitution Hill’s awesome comeback and said: “It was very straightforward. My main instruction from the governor was to keep it as simple as I can. I could hear them behind me and once I turned in, I just gradually quickened it up and went through the gears. He’s a joy to ride.”

Constitution Hill produced everything you would want to see in a potential Champion Hurdle winner according to 20-time champion jump jockey Sir Anthony McCoy.

“Everything was brilliant about him and he jumped like a proper Champion Hurdle horse.” McCoy said.

“He’s certainly going to give Honeysuckle plenty to think about. He was visually impressive and jumped like a champion hurdler.”

“I heard Matt Chapman say he’s the best horse he’s ever seen, I think that’s a bit much when you look at the Kauto Stars, the Istabraqs, the Hurricane Flys – he’s got a bit to go to get to that,” McCoy said.”

Trainer Nicky Henderson stated post-race that a trip to Kempton for the Christmas Hurdle is his next intended target, before a crack at the Champion Hurdle, for which Constitution Hill is now a best-priced 8-11 favourite.

After witnessing the great mare Honeysuckle record an unbeaten run of 16 starts over hurdles from 2018 to 2022, including two Champion Hurdles, it’s incredible to see her quoted at around 4/1 to defend her Cheltenham crown. That’s because the Seven Barrows yard have unearthed the most exciting jumper trained in Britain for years.

Timeform rated him 177p after his comprehensive display at Newcastle, with only five two-mile hurdlers rated higher in Timeform’s history.

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