Michael Buckley says he hopes that Constitution Hill can emulate the likes of Seven Barrows’ greats Altior and Sprinter Sacre before he heads to next month’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, for which is remains the current favourite.
Nicky Henderson took the race in 2020 and holds a strong arm in this season’s renewal, with the aforementioned Tolworth winner set to take on his unbeaten stable-mate Jonbon and an array of well-fancied Irish contenders.
Connections came close to winning the Festival curtain-raiser back in 2011 in a sparkling renewal as Spirit Son was run down late by Al Ferof, but Buckley admits he’s “frightened of them all” ahead of next month’s Grade 1.
“They’re all very unexposed, I’m frightened of all of them,” he told At The Races.
“You talk about Willie’s and Jonbon, but Gordon will have something in it and Henry de Bromhead, there’s going to be, even in a small field, 12 or 14 runners, so you’re going to have to negotiate your way past a lot of good horses.
“Kilcruit might turn out to be a good horse, he was supposed to be, then he ran pretty poorly two or three times and now he’s come back to form.
“It’ll be a hard race and whoever wins it is going to have a really exciting prospect on their hands.”
Last year’s star Bumper horse Kilcruit has somewhat disappointed tackling timber for the first time but did shed his maiden tag over hurdles at Punchestown when last seen, and his handler confirmed he would head for the Tuesday opener.
Mullins said: “I’d imagine he’ll go for the Supreme Novices’, it’s hardly likely he’ll have another run, he’ll just go there and take his chance.”