Honeysuckle capped a tremendous marketing campaign when taking her unbeaten document to 12 within the Paddy Energy Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.
Henry de Bromhead’s exceptional mare adopted up her victory at Cheltenham with one other convincing show within the arms of Rachael Blackmore.
Requested to go and win the race after leaping the second-last flight, Honeysuckle quickly put daylight between herself and her rivals.
Her supporters had a slight scare coming to the final when the 4-7 favorite steadied going into it, giving Sharjah an opportunity to catch her.
Nonetheless, she pulled away once more on the run-in to attain by two and 1 / 4 lengths. Epatante was 10 lengths away in third in a repeat of the positions within the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Honeysuckle was reduce to 2-1 favorite from 11-4 to defend her Champion Hurdle crown at Cheltenham subsequent spring with Paddy Energy.
“It is 100 per cent aid – I almost threw it away on the final,” mentioned Blackmore. “She was feeling the season slightly bit I believe, however she’s simply phenomenal.
“I wasn’t as comfy all through the race on her right now, however nonetheless she simply delivers. Actual stars get jockeys out of bother. I did sleep final evening – sleeping is rarely a trouble.”
Blackmore and De Bromhead have endured a disappointing week by their very own excessive requirements, with Honeysuckle a primary success at this 12 months’s Pageant.
Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo needed to miss his supposed run on Wednesday on account of a minor problem whereas star novice hurdler Bob Olinger was dominated out of his Punchestown engagement at a late stage on account of coughing.
De Bromhead mentioned: “We weren’t having a tremendous week, however she all the time will get us out of bother. She’s superb. I am simply delighted for Kenny (Alexander, proprietor), Peter (Molony) and everybody concerned.
“She was good and Rachael was good on her. She’s like plenty of these actually good horses, she has such a will to win and Rachael is so good on her.
“She’s completed that earlier than on the final, however fortunately Rachael had all of it beneath management. It has been a tremendous season and that is a good way to complete it off.”