Jump racing’s superstar Constitution Hill made it eight wins from eight starts under Rules with a successful seasonal reappearance in the Grade One Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park today.
The 1-12 Favourite, partnered by Nico de Boinville, cruised to the front two out and went on to win as he liked in facile fashion. At the finish, the six year old had nine and a half lengths to spare over Rubaud for a seventh Grade One win.
Winning trainer Nicky Henderson said: “Everybody wants to see what he is, and as Nico says you couldn’t fail to be impressed as he is such an exciting thing to sit on as he goes so fast. I’ve not seen one jump better, but the great secret to all these good two milers, and we have been very lucky over the years going way back when with See You Then, and then the Binocular, Epatante, and Buveur D’Air, it is the way they get from a to b.
“We had this discussion in the summer to jump fences, but what was there to be gained by doing it. He is very good at this. Is an Arkle and a Champion Chase going to change anybody's life. We want to win the Champion Hurdle again. I’d be very surprised if that is what we don’t do (try and win the Champion Hurdle multiple times). See You Then was never winning as easy as this, but you might say the opposition may have been stronger at that time.
“You have to put it all into perspective and he can only beat what is put in front of him. Obviously there will be a lot more to come in March. We missed the Fighting Fifth so there is so reason why we shouldn’t look at the Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Trials Day as an extra run, which he is here to do. We want to race him.
“It is still the same watching him. You are never going to get used to it, but you have got to try and enjoy it to a point if it is possible. It is what you want to see (the way he has won) because he has done it before. It is nice that it all still works as it is a long time since April and a lot of things can happen in that time. His technique is absolutely unbelievable as his margin for error is so small. He has to be so accurate.”
Nico de Boinville told ITV Racing: “It was the worth the wait for everyone.
“The joy of this horse is that he is incredibly straightforward and you can ride him as you find him really.
“I was delighted with that and he hasn’t had too hard a race so that sets up the season nicely. I’m delighted.”
Winning owner Michael Buckley added: “It is a very special day. I’d say it more than a sigh of relief that he has gone and done that. John Ferguson was staying over with me, and he looked after the likes of Dubai Millennium and he said you have got to try and enjoy this, but it does play on your mind a bit. I’m delighted it is over though.”