Trainer Henry De Bromhead says he is “lucky” to have Honeysuckle (4/7 Champion Hurdle) in his ranks after her third successive win in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.
The eight-year-old was just too good for her rivals in the two-mile contest as she finished over six lengths clear of Zanahiyr in second.
It was her second straight win after her victory in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle in November and the victory retains her unbeaten record, now stretching to 15 races.
She appears primed for the Cheltenham Festival with a tilt at the Champion Hurdle, a year after winning the race ahead of Sharjah.
After the race, De Bromhead spoke of his admiration for the Kenneth Alexander-owned mare and says she ran a near-perfect race.
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“She looked great, jumped well I thought throughout – maybe went a little bit left at one of them – but winged the second-last and took off again,” De Bromhead said.
“It felt a long straight after the last, but she was brilliant and we’re delighted.
“It was great, aren’t we lucky to have her?”
Elsewhere at the Dublin Racing Festival, there were Grade One honours for Chacun Pour Soi and Galopin Des Champs.
Chacun Pour Soi took victory in the Dublin Chase and was a class above the rest, finishing 12 lengths ahead of Dunvegan to seal a hat-trick of wins.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase (Chacun Pour Soi 9/2 Outright) looks set to be his next destination and Willie Mullins’ charge will attempt to banish the demons from last year as he only finished third despite being an odds-on favourite.
Meanwhile, Galopin Des Champs looks set for Cheltenham after winning the Novices’ Chase, though options are open according to Mullins, who enjoyoed an excellent day at Leopardstown.
Last year, Galopin Des Champs won the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle and has been mooted for the Turners’ Novices Chase with Bob Olinger (Turners’ Novices Chase – Galopins Des Champs 11/10, Bob Olinger 10/11) set to be a key rival.
“We’ll just try to keep him right now and then decide where we are going to go. A lot of things can happen between now and Cheltenham,” Mullins said.
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