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Record rating for Constitution Hill

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Nicky Henderson's Constitution Hill has been awarded a mark of 170 in the Anglo-Irish Jumps Classifications - a record for a novice hurdler since the introduction of ratings.

The five-year-old gelding has won all three of his races so far, including a devastating victory in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Constitution Hill was 22 lengths clear of stablemate Jonbon.

Nicky Henderson
Nicky Henderson

Henderson was so impressed by Constitution Hill's performance that he was visibly emotional at the end of the race.

The six time Champion Jump Trainer has so far avoided the temptation to pit Constitution Hill against Henry de Bromhead's superstar Honeysuckle.

Honeysuckle, who made history by becoming the first mare to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham twice, was awarded a figure of 165.

However, Honeysuckle's 7lb mare's allowance means that when the two do meet, she might have a slight advantage over Constitution Hill.

Constitution Hill had looked set to meet Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle at Punchestown at the end of April.

Michael Buckley, Constitution Hill's owner, had entered him into the race but Henderson later confirmed he was to be withdrawn and turned out for the summer.

Sponsors Paddy Power had tried to temp Buckley and Henderson with the incentive of a £100,000 bonus for any British horse that could beat Honeysuckle.

The two are expected to meet at next year's Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, where Honeysuckle will be aiming for a third consecutive win.

Constitution Hill will provide stiff competition - he'll have another full jump season under his belt and, at five-years-old, is likely to keep improving.

Racing fans will have to remain patient but, when the time comes, the contest might prove to be one of the best we've ever seen.

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