This year's Cheltenham Festival is already off to an unforgettable start as Constitution Hill is named 'the horse of a generation' after his epic performance on the first day of the event.
The gelding won the Champion Hurdle, beating his closest competitor State Man by a substantial nine lengths with apparent ease – leading horse racing legend Sir AP McCoy, who won the Gold Cup at Cheltenham twice, to describe him as 'the real deal' and 'the horse of a generation' to ITV Racing.
The six-year-old has only raced six times in his career, but is yet to be beaten and already being talked about alongside some of the greatest hurdlers of all time, including Istabraq.
Speaking to Racing TV, Constitution Hill's jockey, Nico de Boinville, said 'he was perfect everywhere' and 'a top top class two-mile hurdler'; while owner Michael Buckley admitted to getting 'quite tearful' at how much love there is for his horse, describing him as 'such a cool dude' and saying he has 'the perfect temperament.'
Constitution Hill's victory wasn't the only highlight of day one either, as Honeysuckle brought down the house after winning the last race of her career – the Mares' Hurdle – with last year's Gold Cup winner, Rachael Blackmore.
Blackmore and Honeysuckle first made history together in 2021, when she became the first female rider to win the Champion Hurdle, with fans describing this year's Mares' Hurdle win as 'the ultimate girl power moment'.
Speaking to Racing TV, trainer Henry de Bromhead described Honeysuckle as 'one of the best horses I've ever had', saying he felt 'privileged and lucky' to have had a mare like her. After an incredibly difficult time following the death of his son, Jack, in a riding accident, he said 'it was amazing how supportive people are' and said her win was 'an amazing way for her to finish her career'.
Owner, Kenny Alexander, added that Honeysuckle had 'guts beyond belief' and 'a tremendous winning attitude'.
Cheltenham Festival continues until Friday 17 March 2023. For the very latest, see soglos.com/cheltenhamfestival.