Wow. We thought we might see something special in the Champion Hurdle and Constitution Hill asserted himself as one of the greatest hurdlers on the planet with a big win over State Man.
Nico de Boinville joined an elite club of jockeys to have won the Gold Cup, the Champion Chase and the Champion Hurdle. And in truth, it was so easy for him as this extraordinary horse made this top class field look completely ordinary, winning with ease by nine lengths. He’d won his previous five races by a total of 77 lengths and added to that here in style.
The crowd were overjoyed with what they saw as another favourite came in on a profitable opening day for the punters. We hoped to see a spectacular performance and we may have just seen a famous win of a horse that could go down as one of the greatest of all time.
"That would bring tears to most eyes. He is pretty unique," Nicky Henderson said.
"There is a brilliant team behind it all. You get a horse like this in a lifetime and we are lucky.
"That is only the sixth race of his life but this horse is going to extraordinary levels and we are lucky to be the custodians of it. He is so unflappable."
It’s the first time in 52 years that a horse has won the Supreme Novice Hurdle winner has won the Champion Hurdle the following season. He’s something special and the race panned out as easily as he wanted it to.
Sam Twiston Davies on I Like To Move It made a good bit of running early on a Not So Sleepy and I Like To Move It first to show. Constitution Hill in third with State Man back in fifth, but Nico de Boinville just knew he had to keep things simple. I Like To Move It set a decent gallop over flight number two as Constitution Hill moved onto the shoulder as they passed the main stand.
Pace was still steady as Townend tried to move State Man into contention. He moved into third with four hurdles to go as I Like To Move It still set the pace with Constitution Hall on his shoulder. State Man was staying quiet as Constitution Hill took the lead up the hill but State Man was in second trying to cling on, desperately.
He’s an incredible horse in his own right but finally the British could celebrate their first win of the Festival. He truly is something special, and if he’d have pushed to the line, could have won by even more lengths. Simply outstanding.
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The mighty Constitution Hill, simply majestic in the Unibet Champion Hurdle!