Daily Mail


Amazing Constituti­on Hill lights up Cheltenham. . .as Honeysuckl­e bids an emotional farewell

- MIKE DICKSON at Cheltenham

CONSTITUTI­ON HILL was hailed as a superstar horse with limitless potential after sweeping to an imperious victory in the Champion Hurdle here yesterday.

Jockey Nico de Boinville and trainer Nicky Henderson were left struggling for superlativ­es after he cruised home by nine lengths — before easing up at the finish — ahead of State Man.

‘He could do anything,’ said de Boinville. ‘He had loads left, he’s an exceptiona­l horse, a superstar.’

‘That is only the sixth race of his life but this horse is going to extraordin­ary levels,’ said Henderson. ‘That would bring tears to most eyes. He is pretty unique.’

While Constituti­on Hill’s imperious victory signalled the arrival of a horse that promises to be a true great of the sport, another star bowed out with victory, as Honeysuckl­e ended her career by claiming the Mares’ Hurdle under Rachael Blackmore.

It was an emotional victory for the 2021 and 2022 champion hurdler, trained by Henry de Bromhead, as it came six months after his 13-year-old son Jack died in a riding accident.

‘We all wish a very special kid was here but he’ll be looking down on us,’ said Blackmore.

For Constituti­on Hill it was another cruise to victory that showed what a remarkable horse this is. He has now won

all of his six races — including last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle — by an aggregate of 86 lengths. ‘He has had six races now and has barely come off the bridle,’ Henderson said, ‘but it won’t last forever so let’s enjoy it while we have got it.

‘Sprinter Sacre did amazing things for us and the emotion behind him for his comeback was unbelievab­le. This horse has got into those echelons after six races. ‘It is an extraordin­ary thing to happen but he is an extraordin­ary

horse going to extraordin­ary levels. We are lucky to be the custodian of him but a lot of responsibi­lity goes with it.’ De Boinville need not have been alarmed as he effortless­ly stretched his lead in the closing stages: ‘I didn’t think we were on much going into the last but he had loads left, he’s given me a terrific spin,’ said the jockey. ‘I could feel them all coming to two out, but he’s just winged every single hurdle.

‘It’s just a matter of when you push the button. This ground was really dead, and I didn’t want to get going too soon. He’s won hard and to anyone who backed him for 10 lengths or more, I apologise! As soon as he got to the front, he pricked his ears and said, “Come on, let’s go, go and do the business”. He’s an absolute superstar.’

As for Constituti­on Hill’s future, De Boinville added: ‘I’m sure we will try him over a fence at some point. I guess we don’t want to pigeon-hole him just as a hurdler; he could be anything. I think he’d be good over a fence.’

 ?? PA/REUTERS ?? Festival stars: De Boinville romped to victory on Constituti­on Hill while Blackmore (below) enjoyed an emotional triumph on Honeysuckl­e
PA/REUTERS Festival stars: De Boinville romped to victory on Constituti­on Hill while Blackmore (below) enjoyed an emotional triumph on Honeysuckl­e

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