Constitution Hill simply magnificent in Champion Hurdle cruise

Jump racing’s answer to Frankel lights up Cheltenham.

Constitution Hill lit up day one of the Cheltenham Festival as he took the Unibet Champion Hurdle crown in sublime style.

This race had been seen as the six-year-old’s date with destiny ever since romping to victory in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 12 months ago – and Nicky Henderson’s charge did not disappoint, much to the delight of a packed Prestbury Park crowd.

Sent off at odds of 4-11, jockey Nico de Boinville was keen to keep things simple and had the Michael Buckley-owned winner tracking I Like To Move It, who was setting the fractions.

Travelling with supreme ease, Constitution Hill’s super-slick hurdling saw him breeze to the front after three out and De Boinville was simply nudging his mount forwards as he drew clear of the chasing back rounding the turn for home.

He was soon sauntering up the hill with victory secured and De Boinville was able to turn to the crowd and milk the applause as Constitution Hill in a canter.

Victory saw De Boinville join an illustrious role of honour to have won the Festival’s three biggest prizes, while Constitution Hill crushed the trends to become the first horse since dual race winner Bula’s first Champion Hurdle triumph in 1971 to follow up victory in the Supreme Novices Hurdle.

For Henderson, he added Champion Hurdle number nine to his illustrious CV and there is every chance this could be the best of the lot to step foot in Seven Barrows.

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