Honeysuckle the star of the show again
It all went to script in the Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle with the 1/5 favourite Honeysuckle comfortably maintaining her unbeaten record.
Having tracked the leaders, the winner came through to hit the front before the second-last and readily went clear off the home turn to beat Zanahiyr by six and a half lengths. It was a third successive win in the race for the eight-year-old daughter of Sulamani who has not been beaten in fourteen career starts over hurdles.
Paddy Power left her price unchanged at 4/7 for the Champion Hurdle.
Winning trainer Henry de Bromhead said: "That was absolutely brilliant. She was great again, the pair of them. I'm delighted.
“She jumped well, I thought, throughout. She maybe went a little bit left at the third last but winged the second last and took off again.
“It felt like a long straight after the last but she was brilliant and Rachael was brilliant on her.
“The atmosphere has been amazing here today. Every second person you meet says my daughter, or son, is a massive fan of Rachael and Honeysuckle. It's incredible, it's a dream for us to be involved and we feel very lucky.
“It's just great having everyone back and isn't it great she was able to do it on the day.
“We did a lot when there were no crowds around so it's brilliant to see the crowd appreciating her and giving her and Rachael the reception they got.”
Rachael Blackmore told RTE Sport: “It’s just unbelievable. We’re all so lucky to be involved with her. Me to be riding her, Henry to be training her and Kenny (Alexander) to be owning her.
“I’ve never got a reception like that cantering to the start. It was incredible and I really got chills through my veins listening to everyone as we went down. It’s fantastic to be a part of it all and she’s just an unbelievable mare.
“Kenny texted me last night and said that she owes us nothing, just go out and enjoy it. It’s lovely to be riding for those kind of people as well.
“I am a bit emotional. The crowds are what make it special and that cheer going down to the start, where would you get it?!”