Constitution Hill delivers the hype surrounding the Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival


Constitution Hill lived up to all expectations with a dominant run to win the Champion Hurdle.

Going off at 4/11 on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, he became the winner of the lowest priced race, winning by nine lengths to delight the crowd.

Second-place State Man couldn’t stay near Constitution Hill, the only danger was the final hurdle, and just as that hurdle was cleared, coach Nicky Henderson was free to begin the celebrations.

“It would bring tears to most people’s eyes,” Henderson told the BBC. “He’s quite unique.

“There is a brilliant team behind it. You get a horse like that in life and we are lucky. This is only the sixth race of his life but this horse is developing to exceptional heights and we are fortunate to be his keeper. He’s so unflappable.”

Jockey Nico de Boinville said: “I’m absolutely thrilled, he gave me a great ride. He was just winging every single hurdle and it was just like that when I pushed the button.

“This race proves how good he is – today they all came out to beat him.”

In the festival’s opening race, Facile Vega started as a favorite but was unable to help Willie Mullins get the perfect start. The home eight were all Irish but it was Marine Nationale who stormed by three and a half lengths to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle while Facile Vega finished second after a poor jump.

Mullins and Paul Townend didn’t have to wait long to hit the bull’s eye, however, as El Fabiolo proved too strong for Jonbon at the Arkle. Dysart Dynamo recently had a very bad fall after completing the race but luckily was back on his feet and fit after the race.

Corach Rambler then won the Ultima Handicap Chase again after a brilliant ride from Derek Fox, beating Fastorslow. The nine-year-old was quickly relegated to favoritism at the next month’s Grand National. Constitution Hill delivers the hype surrounding the Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival

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