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Pointers on Track

Records broken as Constitution Hill blitzes Supreme field

Constitution Hill was the hugely impressive winner of the Grade One Sky Bet - Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, in what was a one-two for Irish Pointers in the opening race of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.  
 
The five-year-old, who made his debut for Warren Ewing in a four-year-old maiden at Tipperary last season, came home 22 lengths clear of stable companion Jonbon in a course record time of 3m 44.31s to hand trainer Nicky Henderson a 1-2 in the extended 2m contest. 
 
Constitution Hill took up the running on the run to the home bend and from there he easily brushed aside the challenge of his stable companion to give trainer Nicky Henderson his 71st Cheltenham Festival victory.
 
It is the third year in a row that Irish Pointers have claimed the opening race at the Festival following on from Shishkin and Appreciate It in each of the last two renewals.
 
Winning trainer Nicky Henderson said:  “The three of them were a long way clear by the time Dysart Dynamo fell, and no one wants to see that happen.  
 
“Jonbon is a very good horse - for Constitution Hill to do that to him is remarkable.  
 
It’s just nice to be back here with all these people who create that atmosphere - it means a lot. 
 
“It’s extraordinary that he is a genuine two-miler - I don’t know why, he’d stay two and half standing on his head, I think. He’s got an enormous turn of foot. He’s always just racing in two gears below everyone else, because it’s all so easy for him, and then you press the button and the turbo works. That’s the way he is at home and that’s the way he is on the racecourse, which is lovely. 
 

"That was awesome. I know what the second horse [Jonbon] is, so… I’d be very surprised if anything could have done that to Jonbon, so he must be extraordinary. The hype horse actually earlier on in the year was Jonbon, and then this fella woke up from his slumbers at home, and I stopped bothering Barry [Geraghty], asking him what this was he’d sent me, because we suddenly realised he was very good. 
 
He’s been very good, it was just how much he actually knew, because he’d only run in two hurdle races, with four runners in each. To go out there and go at that gallop - that’s the extraordinary thing, that he could travel so easily at that pace, and then pick it up. To find gears at the end of a headlong gallop like that is extraordinary. 
 
“Matt Chapman was begging me to put him in the Champion Hurdle this year, and he’ll be telling me what a fool I was not to, won’t he? We’ll see - he’s got his life in front of him. 
 
Aintree comes very quickly; he could go to Punchestown and we’ll say hello to Willie [Mullins] again and see what happens.” 

 

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