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Constitution Hill is the red-hot favourite to breeze past his six rivals in the Champion Hurdle and become the first Supreme winner to land the Championship race since 1971.
The principal opponent for Nicky Henderson’s superstar appears to be the Willie Mullins trained State Man, who is three from three in Grade 1s this season and dethroned Honeysuckle as the leading Irish hurdler last month.
The Clossuton handler also fields Vauban, I Like To Move It heads the British charge, while the field for Tuesday’s 15:30 at the Cheltenham Festival is completed by rank outsiders Jason The Militant, Not So Sleepy and Zanahiyr.
Champion Hurdle odds can be found on the Paddy Power website, Paddy Power app or via our snazzy betting widgets, otherwise Timeform’s horse-by-horse guide to the runners and betting tips from the racing boffins are below.
Champion Hurdle tips
Timeform: CONSTITUTION HILL looked something special when routing Jonbon in the Supreme on this day last year and has fully confirmed that impression with easy wins in the Fighting Fifth and Christmas Hurdle this winter. State Man is a high-class and progressive hurdler in his own right and looks a clear second best but it’s still hard to see him seriously troubling Michael Buckley’s outstanding 6-y-o. I Like To Move It looks best of the rest.
Champion Hurdle runners
Trainer: Nicky Henderson Jockey: Nico de Boinville Age: 6 Weight: 11st 10lbs
Exceptional winner of the Supreme at last year’s Festival and underlined he could be one of the best hurdlers seen for a long time when easily accounting for Epatante in Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. Kept fresh for this since. Can’t be opposed.
I Like To Move It
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Age: 6 Weight: 11st 10lbs
Smart novice hurdler last term and took it up another notch when impressively winning the Greatwood on his C&D reappearance. Disappointing when stepped up to 2½m for the Relkeel here on New Year’s Day but quickly back on the up returned to 2m when dotting up in the Kingwell at Wincanton.
Jason The Militant
Trainer: Philip Kirby Jockey: Joe Williamson Age: 9 Weight: 11st 10lbs
Smart hurdler for Henry De Bromhead and also bagged a listed race on the Flat in October 2021. Ran respectably (bang there for a long way) in course handicap hurdle on his stable debut in January. Won’t be up to the task here, though.
Not So Sleepy
Trainer: Hughie Morrison Jockey: Jonathan Burke Age: 11 Weight: 11st 10lbs
Fifth in the last 2 runnings of this. Good third in Cesarewitch on the Flat at Newmarket in October. Also made a sound return to hurdling when third to Constitution Hill in Fighting Fifth but beaten before stamina should have been an issue over 3m at Kempton over Christmas. Freshened up since.
Trainer: W. P. Mullins Jockey: P. Townend Age: 6 Weight: 11st 10lbs
Unbeaten for this yard when completing. Impressive in County at 2022 Festival and 4-4 in Grade 1s since, the latest when accounting for Honeysuckle and Vauban in Irish Champion last month. Looks capable of better still but whether he can live with Constitution Hill is another matter.
Trainer: W. P. Mullins Jockey: D. E. Mullins Age: 5 Weight: 11st 10lbs
Triple Grade 1 winner as a juvnenile, including the Triumph here. Has run well when placed behind stablemate State Man in Matheson and Irish Champion (both Leopardstown) this winter. Has a bigger peformance in him but it’s still unlikely he’ll be good enough.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: Davy Russell Age: 6 Weight: 11st 10lbs
Very smart hurdler at his best. Bettered his first 2 efforts this season when 8 lengths last of 5 to State Man in the Irish Champion at Leopardstown 37 days ago but that underlines he has his work cut out at the highest level.
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