Constitution Hill proved himself to be the best of his generation with a faultless and storming victory in the Unibet Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Regarded as the most exciting jumps horse in the world ever since bolting up in last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Nicky Henderson’s unbeaten star has conquered all before him this season en route to the Champion Hurdle, for which he started as 4/11 favourite.
In Willie Mullins’ Irish Champion Hurdle winner State Man, Constitution Hill was facing his toughest test so far, but passed it with flying colours and never had a moment’s worry.
Jockey Nico de Boinville flicked the reins on the turn for home and Constitution Hill kicked up a gear, striding up the hill to come home nine lengths clear of State Man in a canter.
For the second Champion Hurdle in a row, Gordon Elliott’s Zanahiyr stayed on for third ahead of Vauban in fourth.
Henderson told ITV Racing: “He’s just an extraordinary horse. You can’t believe at this stage of his life he’s doing things like that. He is just remarkable and Nico is great, he’s a cool boy isn’t he!
“You are always worried something is going to go wrong, if you haven’t done enough, or this or that or the other – he hasn’t run since Christmas.
“Of course there is pressure on, it’s always fun but underneath it, it’s not quite as much fun as you think it is. When it’s over, I promise you it is.”
De Boinville added: “What a horse, just absolutely delighted. He’s given me a terrific spin and I’m delighted for Michael [Buckley, owner]. The guv’nor has done a fantastic job – everyone at Seven Barrows [has].”
De Boinville now boasts wins in the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
He said: “On a personal level, it’s been a dream of mine to get the big three and I’m delighted I’ve achieved it.”