When a horse is widely tipped to achieve sustained success, including several months ahead of competing in an upcoming event, then it usually indicates the prospect of something special. After an exceptional run at the Fighting Fifth Hurdle in Newcastle, the next big star in racing could well be Constitution Hill.
And it wasn’t just the result itself that has quickly attracted great attention, but the impressive manner in which Constitution Hill romped his way to victory. The five-year-old was five 12 lengths ahead with Nico De Boinville in the saddle, flying past the finishing post at the Fighting Fifth with emphatic style, far beyond the reach of second-placed stablemate Epatante.
Following such an emphatic display, the Irish Examiner was full of superlatives as they reviewed the potential of Constitution Hill, believing the sky really could be the limit for this wonderful horse. They highlighted an impressive change of gear heading around the home turn, as Constitution Hill seemed to effortlessly discover the additional pace required for such a comfortable outcome.
Lest we forget, beaten rival Epatante won the Champion Hurdle in 2020, then finished narrowly second behind Honeysuckle in 2021 and 2022 at Cheltenham, along with having won her last two runs in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle underlining. This underlines why owner Michael Buckley has every right to be thrilled at the prospects for Constitution Hill. “It’s an absolute joy and privilege to be able to find such a horse. I’ve never been to Newcastle racecourse before, so it’s a hell of a way to start,” he enthused afterwards.
Constitution Hill boasts an exceptional record thus far, ever since debuting with a second place at the Tipperary point-to-point course in April 2021. The first appearance in rules races was at Sandown in December that year, comfortably winning the Great Friend “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle by 14 lengths. Then came another exceptional run at Sandown, opening 2022 in fine form, winning the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle by 12 lengths.
The stellar introduction for Constitution Hill arrived at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, way ahead by 22 lengths to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, clearly announcing this horse would certainly be one to watch. This latest victory at Newcastle certainly underlines that fact, which means punters will be keenly watching out for the next performance. Constitution Hill is entered for the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown on 29 December, although that appearance could now be in doubt.
The principal focus for Constitution Hill is the Champion Hurdle at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, already promoting bookmakers to make him the clear favourite at 8/11 odds. But this value could still vary, therefore checking the latest evaluation for top horse racing betting sites is worthwhile, comparing odds and offers to find the best value available. This is precisely what industry experts and professional bettors at SBO aim to provide, imparting their wealth of knowledge and experience to prospective punters.
However, sometimes there are horses emerging that seem to defy all sense of logic, suddenly losing races after initially being hyped and predicted to achieve greatness. But while Constitution Hill remains on the scene, confidence remains high from those closest involved in his care and preparation. “He is a freak. I was worried it was going to be a silly tactical race, so I told Nico to just go and have fun. The way he quickened up, even I was impressed,” beamed trainer Nicky Henderson after the Newcastle race.
Sky Sports believe this victory at Newcastle will kickstart the Champion Hurdle dream for Constitution Hill, and that opinion appears to be shared by his jockey. “That was very straightforward,” he stated in a matter of fact way after the Fighting Fifth win. “He’s a joy to ride and so slick over his hurdles now. He’d be the slickest I’ve ridden over a hurdle,” assured Nico De Boinville with obvious certainty. This is high praise indeed, considering the outstanding horses he has ridden over the years.
Now comes the challenge of making some important decisions. Constitution Hill’s owner Michael Buckley is cautious about returning to Ireland for the Matheson Hurdle, weighing up the possibility of going to Kempton on Boxing Day instead. An appearance at Haydock could also be on the cards, before the big run in the Champions Hurdle at Cheltenham next March, although this decision will follow consultation with the jockey and trainer.