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‘He is a freak’ – Nicky Henderson blown away as Champion Hurdle favourite Constitution Hill bolts up at Newcastle

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WHAT’S that coming over the Hill? A complete and utter monster.

Constitution Hill produced a performance which made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end in Newcastle’s Fighting Fifth.

PA

Constitution Hill is now odds-on favourite for the Champion Hurdle[/caption]

He has only had four starts but it’s worth posing the question – is he the best hurdler we have ever seen? 

“Let’s all take a deep breath and settle down,” said beaming trainer Nicky Henderson.

But it is hard not to get carried away when the five-year-old gave 7lb and an absolute hammering to his former Champion Hurdle-winning stablemate Epatante.

Jockey Nico de Boinville didn’t mess around, allowing the 1-4 favourite to bowl along at the head of the five-runner field.


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He gave him a slap down the neck at the top of the straight and, as if he had a pair of rocket boosters strapped to his backside, he took off and shot clear.

He pinged the final couple of obstacles and was allowed to coast across the line, 12 lengths clear of the high-class runner-up.

Coral cut him into 4-7 from 5-4 for the Champion Hurdle in March, with defending champ Honeysuckle (7-2) due to return to action at Fairyhouse next weekend.

Let’s keep everything crossed that they stay healthy before that clash at Cheltenham, because it promises to be a race for the ages.

Henderson said: “He is an amazing horse. For him to do that to Epatante is ridiculous. She has won the race twice before and been in great form. 

“This horse has to go to Kempton for the Christmas Hurdle on Boxing Day next but where we go before Cheltenham I don’t know.

“I was worried it was going to be a silly tactical race, so I told Nico to just go and enjoy himself because you can do anything with him.

“It’s a huge relief. He looked a bit of a freak last year and it’s great to see him win like that.”

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