As laid-back as they come: watch Cheltenham Festival winner being ridden by small child

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  • Constitution Hill, a five-year-old gelding by Blue Bresil and owned by Michael Buckley, was awe-inspiring when cruising to an incredible 22-length victory in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival this afternoon (15 March).

    Trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico De Boinville, he looked to be in a different league from his rivals in terms of class.

    But so laid-back is Constitution Hill that Barry Geraghty’s six-year-old daughter was tasked with helping to school and ride him as a three-year-old and, as you can see from the video, they struck up a lovely partnership.

    “I love his disposition,” says jockey Nico de Boinville. “He’s so relaxed. He just eats, sleeps and goes out like a pony. He wanders round at the start and does everything so easily. He is push-button to ride, honestly a jockey’s dream.

    “He’s such a likeable horse. He answers every question and everything seems to be so easy for him. He’s always within his comfort zone, so it seems.”

    In Nico de Boinville’s mind he is already up there with Supreme winners Altior and Shishkin in terms of raw ability.

    “This is some horse, quite an animal,” he says.

    When Constitution Hill won the Grade One Tolworth Novies’ Hurdle at Sandown in January, trainer Nicky Henderson had to watch the race on television, while he sat out a bout of Covid. He said at the time: “Even I thought he was impressive,” he said. “What we saw was better than any medicine – that’ll kill Covid I can tell you, watching something like that. He was spectacular. We hoped he might be.

    “There had been a lot of hype from one run but he’s an extraordinary horse and just to go round there and do that was frightening, to be honest with you.”

    But even Henderson described the horse as “asleep” most of the time.

    “He’s a sheep,” he says: “Let’s just hope that the future shines for this horse. He could be enormous but as everyone knows you need an awful lot of luck on your side for things to go forward, but the future looks bright.”

    Keep up-to-date with all the latest news and updates from the Cheltenham Festival via the Horse & Hound website and read the full report in the 24 March issue of the magazine

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