Betting Tips and Previews: Cheltenham Festival 2024

Constitution Hill Set To Light Up Cheltenham In Champion Hurdle Bid

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Constitution Hill Set To Light Up Cheltenham In Champion Hurdle Bid



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(3 minutes read)

No other horse has been talked about this season with such superlatives and excitement. Last year’s runaway Supreme Novices winner, Constitution Hill, has stamped his credentials even further this season with emphatic Grade One victories in The Fighting Fifth and Christmas Hurdle.

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The soundbites radiating from this Nicky Henderson trained 6-year-old range from “freak”, “possibly the greatest ever..” to “..better than Istabraq..”.

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The manner of his victories has been so significant, it is arguably apparent that current champion Honeysuckle has been scared off to the cosier confines of the Mares Hurdle, although she was well beaten by Constitution Hill’s chief rival, State Man in the recent Irish Champion Hurdle.

Many of the Irish pundits are arguing that this year’s Champion Hurdle is indeed a match between the emerging State Man and the heir apparent Constitution Hill.

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But the stats tell a different story. Based on the handicapper’s calculations, State Man has around 11 lengths to make up on the Seven Barrows trained charge.

We take a look at the entries for the Champion Hurdle on Day 1 of The Cheltenham Festival and assess the chances of Constitution Hill being beaten with best odds provided by our partner firms, Bet365, William Hill, Betfred, Bet Victor and Boylesports.

Constitution Hill: How Good Is He?

Technically, he appears to be the perfect hurdler. Constitution Hill measures his obstacles with perfect economic precision, travels beautifully, performs at Cheltenham and produces a turn of foot that has most avid racegoers lowering their binoculars to double check what they’re witnessing.

Constitution Hill made Jonbon look very ordinary in last year’s Supreme which shocked even his handler. What appeared to be a match between the two stable mates ended up being a procession.

Similar performances have been followed up in this year’s Fighting Fifth and Christmas Hurdle Grade 1’s where this time Epatante, who is no slouch, was also put firmly to the sword.

Only a fall or a health-related decline in Constitution Hill’s will to compete can surely stop him winning. I’ve been watching National Hunt racing since 1990, this is the best hurdler I’ve seen in that time. Banker of the meeting.

2/7 best with Bet365, Bet Victor, Betfred and Boylesports with NRNB.

State Man

The Willie Mullins trained 6 year old would be an odds on chance in this renewal without the participation of Constitution Hill.

He came to the fore by winning last year’s County Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival comfortably. Since then he has elevated himself to the top of the pile, at least in Ireland, with very convincing wins over Sharjah, Vauban and most significantly Honeysuckle in the recent Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Can you state a case for State Man to beat Constitution Hill?

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State Man has beaten quality horses in Vauban and the champion Honeysuckle. Constitution Hill has beaten at best, a former Champion Hurdler.

But the margins are considerable. Epatante is still very much a quality horse and she followed up her two defeats to Constitution Hill with a very impressive victory in a Grade 2 event at Doncaster. And let’s not forget that Constitution Hill absolutely decimated Jonbon in last year’s Supreme.

State Man has got to improve by some degree to get within even 3-4 lengths of the Nicky Henderson charge. It’s a big big ask.

State Man is 11/4 best with Betfred NRNB.

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The Each Way Options

Epatante

Former champion and placed in last year’s renewal. Ran respectably enough behind Constitution Hill in the two grade one’s and the Grade 2 win at Doncaster recently to suggest that she is still an each way force to be reckoned with.

20/1 best with Bet365, Bet Victor, Betfred and Boylesports all with Non-Runner No Bet.

I Like To Move It

Really impressed in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham November Meeting but below par in the Relkeel Hurdle on New Year’s Day.

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However, he probably ran a career best in the Kingwell Hurdle last weekend at Wincanton which puts him firmly in the each way spotlight. 20/1 best with Bet365, Betfred and Boylesports, all with Non-Runner No Bet.

Recap

It is highly inadvisable to back anything with significance unless it is Constitution Hill, such is the quality of this Nicky Henderson trained 6-year-old.

Anything less than a 2 length victory would be regarded as something of a shock. Therefore, the each way scenario is attractive especially if four places are available on the day. Epatante and I Love To Move It look excellent propositions at 20/1 at bet365.

Constitution Hill is what many punters regard as the Cheltenham banker of the meeting.

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MORE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL!

Have a great Cheltenham Festival 2023 and have fun!

Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (2pm 21st February 2023) and are subject to change.

Matt is Howtobet4free's resident Horse Racing expert, writer, tipster and a huge Cheltenham Festival fan. He occasionally dabbles in Golf, Football and anything else you can gamble on!

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