Nicky Henderson Cheltenham Day 1 Entries: Constitution Hill & Jonbon set for Supreme challenge

Nicky Henderson can get his 2022 Festival off to a flying start
Nicky Henderson can get his 2022 Festival off to a flying start

Nicky Henderson might only have four entries on the card at Cheltenham on Tuesday but the 71 year-old has every chance of getting off to a flying start as he has one of the two top choices in the curtain raiser…

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For many it will be a choice between Willie Mullins’ Sir Gerhard and Dysart Dynamo or Nicky Henderson’s Constitution Hill when the 2022 Cheltenham Festival gets underway on Tuesday but don’t sleep on another of Nicky’s stable as expensive purchase Jonbon is also set it make it to the start line for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

We’ll start with Constitution Hill as the five year-old is coming off back-to-back wins by 14 and 12 lengths respectively.. His last run was on the 8th of January as in the Grade 1 Tolworth at Sandown Park where even as a very short 2/5f - he was extremely impressive. He travelled strongly throughout before taking the lead two jumps out and keeping on and pulling away from Jetoile, who didn’t exactly slow down. It was all about the pure speed and stamina from the winner. A lot to like about Constitution Hill.

Now onto Jonbon who was a mammoth £570,000 purchase by JP McManus as the legendary owner opened up his chequebook for the brother of eight-time Grade 1 winner Douvan. That huge investment though has paid off in his early career with five straight wins and a longest starting price of Evens in a Grade 2 at Ascot back in December. This will be the first time he’s going to go off as odds against and not the clear choice. This could be a bit of sneaky value and Nicky Henderson has a tremendous chance with one of these two to open his 2022 Festival account.

In the Champion Hurdle it will take a brave punter to bet against Honeysuckle but if you are willing to look past the short-priced favourite then Henderson has Epatante who isn’t the worst bet on the card. This eight-year-old won the race back in 2020 but came third last year. He’s two from two so far this winter but taking down one of the most fancied horses of the four days is a tall task.

His fourth shot of the day is Marie’s Rock who missed the Festival last year as she had wind surgery. She goes in a relatively wide open Mares’ Hurdle but should be considered as the most unlikely winner for the trainer on Day 1.

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