Honeysuckle picks up from where she left off with Fairyhouse success

Tue 12 Nov 2019

Honeysuckle maintained her unbeaten record as she came home a comfortable winner on her seasonal bow at Fairyhouse.

Henry de Bromhead’s mare won each of her four races over hurdles last term, culminating with Grade One gold at the track on Easter Sunday after a setback had forced her to miss the Cheltenham Festival.

She was sent off the 3-10 favourite for her reappearance in the Hurdle – and receiving 7lb from her two main rivals, Easy Game and Mister Blue Sky, she barely had to hit top gear for Rachael Blackmore.

Watch how Honeysuckle made a winning return at Fairyhouse

Le Hachette built up an early lead. But when Blackmore gave the signal, Honeysuckle assumed control with three to jump as Easy Game tried to put up some opposition.

Honeysuckle had plenty in reserve and eased clear over the final two flights to register an 11-length verdict.

Paddy Power clipped her to 5-1 for the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham next March, and De Bromhead was relieved to see the five-year-old kick off her campaign with a routine win.

He said: “I’m delighted with that. I was a bit nervous beforehand, I have to say.

“Rachael was really happy with her, and we couldn’t have asked her to do any more. She said she was grand on the ground, (and) she said it was tough out there.

“I’m delighted to get it for (owner) Kenny Alexander, and it’s just nice to have her back and start her season off well.

“We need to sit down and discuss things now. She’s in the Hatton’s Grace (at Fairyhouse next month), so we’ll see.

“It’s a bit frustrating, because the two mares’ races we have are both for horses that haven’t won Grade Ones.

“The one at Punchestown next week is understandable, that’s a Listed race, and then the Grade Three at Christmas is for mares that haven’t won a Grade One – so she’s quite limited in mares race between now and Christmas.

“She’s in the Hatton’s Grace, and then we’ll look at Christmas as well, but I haven’t really discussed anything yet.

“I don’t think we’d go across the water unless the lads want to.”

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