Cheltenham Festival: Honeysuckle Team keep Champion Hurdle and Mares Hurdle options open until Dublin Racing Festival ends

Henry de Blomhead insists Honeysuckle’s plans beyond the Dublin Racing Festival remain in flux, as she tackles the glorious Constitution Hill and finishes 3rd in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. The decision as to whether or not she will win a second time will likely rest on her performance at Leopardstown.

The Mares hurdle she won in 2020 had previously been raised as a possible alternative by her trainer.

Honeysuckle looked likely to secure the fourth Hatton’s Grace Hurdle after a strong entry into the home straight at Fairyhouse last month, but her efforts faltered during the final two flights and she was eventually beaten. was beaten by just under three lengths to take third place behind Teahupoo and Classical Dream.

De Bromhead said:

“I think we’ve seen what the Irish Champion Hurdle is going to be like, so let’s all sit down and read Peter’s quote and beat it together!

“I think the most important thing is to keep all options open. I think my job is to find the races where I have the best chance of winning.”

Teaupoo and Jack Kennedy (right) win the Bar One Racing Hatton Grace Hurdle from Classical Dream (middle) and Honeysuckle (left)

“It may not be what we want. At the moment, look at Constitution Hill, whatever price he is, it’s 1-3. I think it’s easy for fillies to race. I’m not saying it’s going to be a bad race, but you might have a better race.

“But first we have to get over the Irish Champion hurdle, which is a big challenge for us as well.

De Bromhead doesn’t think the star filly will give up the crown easily as she seeks a fourth straight victory in the Chanel Farma Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Constitution Hill and Honeysuckle battle it out in the Champion Hurdle
Constitution Hill and Honeysuckle could be set to fight in the Champion Hurdle

The 9-year-old, who suffered her first loss in 17 appearances, will be back on Sunday week with something of a recovery mission.

The eclipse soon left many wondering if the great mare was past her prime, but De Bromhead claims there are no signs at home that her strength is waning. increase.

“She’s looking pretty good right now,” said the Waterford County handler. I think it ran really well.

Honeysuckle and Rachel Blackmore pull wide ahead of rest of Champion Hurdlefield at Cheltenham
Honeysuckle pulls wide ahead of rest of Champion Hurdlefield at Cheltenham

“The 2.5 miles (miles) on the ground that ended up being very soft could have been just a stretch. She was beaten by a real soft ground expert in Teahupoo. It’s a horse.

“She looked like she got in bed between the penultimate and the last, but they just came up to her and that was the end of it.

“Nothing has changed here. It could happen on the track. I don’t know. Everyone is happy. She looks good.”

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