Nicky Henderson Michael Buckley county Hill Sporting Nicky Henderson Michael Buckley county Hill

Cheltenham anoints new greats but thin crowds hint at need for shake-up

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T wo brilliant performances by new champions of jump racing bookended this year’s Cheltenham Festival, and both Constitution Hill, the Champion Hurdle winner, and Galopin Des Champs, who survived all manner of problems to run out an easy winner of the Gold Cup, promise to be fixtures at the meeting for several years to come.

The precise days on which they should be pulling in the crowds – and there’s more on that to come – remain to be seen. Galopin Des Champs, clearly, is a huge new talent among staying chasers and, all being well, will line up for two more Gold Cups at least.

Constitution Hill, though, is the potential wild card. He is already established as a generational talent over hurdles but could yet rise even further among the all-time greats if his immense talent can stretch to a switch to chasing.

The Arkle? The Champion Chase? Perhaps even the Gold Cup, and an attempt to emulate Dawn Run in a head-to-head with Galopin Des Champs?

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