From 2022 Cheltenham Festival handicap winner to clear second favourite for the 2023 Champion Hurdle. It’s been quite the rise for State Man, and we perhaps saw his best performance so far on a racetrack this Sunday, when he won the Irish Champion Hurdle by almost five length.
We may not have seen the best of him yet, a scary thought indeed.
But can State Man challenge Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival?
It is probably fair to say that in most years, State Man’s victory on Sunday would have been enough to make him a strong favourite for the Cheltenham day one showpiece, but this isn’t a normal Champion Hurdle. Constitution Hill looks a monster, a horse who could dominate the two mile hurdling division for years to come.
The bookmakers still have Constitution Hill at the head of it, he’s priced up as the 1/3 favourite with Betfair, while the same company has State Man as 3/1 second favourite.
If you want an idea of just how far these two are ahead of the rest of the field, there is no other runner at single figures, next best is Vauban, beaten by State Man on Sunday, and he’s available at 14/1 with Unibet.
An All-Star Champion Hurdle Clash
We’ve seen some great Champion Hurdle’s over the years, and the 2023 renewal could be up there with the best of them. It may not be the deepest, but the clash between Constitution Hill and State Man is one we will all look forward to.
Five weeks from now, we’ll get to see it happen.
Constitution Hill has been perfect, beating good fields by a wide margin, and comes here on the back of one of the most impressive 2022 Cheltenham Festival wins, when he won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
State Man has been beating better competition by less, also impressive, and while he only won a Cheltenham handicap last year, he was clearly on the up, and quickly went into Grade One company after that.
Who’s your money on?