Paddy Power Champion Hurdle
|Grade 1, Punchestown 17:25
2m, Class 1
1 Honeysuckle 1/5F
2 Echoes In Rain 18/1
3 Darasso 33/1
6 ran Distances: 3l, 4l, shd
Time: 3m 51.80s (slow by 5.80s)
Honeysuckle just keeps going with another victory in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle while @Robbie_Power_ calls it a day at @punchestownrace pic.twitter.com/hCnykNVTx2 @HenrydeBromhead | @rachaelblackmor https://t.co/rKwTyotVZe via @RacingBetter— RacingBetter (@RacingBetter) May 2, 2022
Henry de Bromhead’s superstar mare has enjoyed another faultless campaign, winning a third Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse before successfully defending her crown in both the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown and the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The eight-year-old was unsurprisingly a short price at to do the same on her return to County Kildare and ultimately landed odds of 1-5 with the minimum of fuss in the hands of Rachael Blackmore, beating Echoes In Rain by three lengths.
Saint Roi took the six-strong field along for much of the two-mile journey before Honeysuckle moved up to deliver her challenge leaving the back straight.
Just for a moment it looked like she might have a real race on her hands, with Saint Roi still travelling well enough in the lead and his stablemate Echoes In Rain looming large in Honeysuckle’s wing mirrors as they rounded the home turn.
But once straightened up, Blackmore’s mount found another gear to put the race to bed and while she slowed up and edged left jumping the final flight, she picked up again on the run-in and came home with three lengths in hand, much to the delight of the vast majority of those in the packed grandstands.
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Echoes In Rain was a clear second, with Grand National and Gold Cup-winning jockey Robbie Power finishing last of the six aboard Teahupoo on his final ride before retirement.
Power received a warm reception from racegoers as he made his way back to the unsaddling area before Honeysuckle sent punters wild after returning to the winner’s enclosure to deserved acclaim.
Blackmore said: “She’s incredibly talented, I’m so lucky to be on her back. We’re all lucky to be part of what she is, she’s a phenomenally talented mare. She always does what she has to do, and that’s an incredible feat in any horse.
“As a jockey you dream of getting on a good horse, that’s what every jockey wants – you can’t achieve on the big days without that. But she takes it to another level – she blows good horses out of the water. I’m very lucky to ride her.
“Henry does some job with her producing her like this every single day. She was brilliant. It’s a good team at home that makes these days so good and it’s important to have that.
“When we turned in, I did have to ask her for that gear and she found it and away we went. She just does what she has to. I can always feel when there is something coming because she can sense it too and she kicks on.
“It (the reception) was magic.”
Paddy Power Punchestown Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)
€300,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
Going: Good to Yielding, Yielding in places
POS. DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 Honeysuckle 8 11-5 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 1/5F
2 3 Echoes In Rain 6 11-5 W P Mullins Paul Townend 18/1
3 4 Darasso 9 11-12 Joseph O'Brien L P Dempsey 33/1
4 shd Saint Roi 7 11-12 W P Mullins Mark Walsh 12/1
5 2½ Adagio 5 11-12 David Pipe Tom Scudamore 16/1
6 15 Teahupoo 5 11-12 Gordon Elliott Robbie Power 12/1
Year Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP
2021 Honeysuckle 7 11-7 Kenneth Alexander Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 4/7F
2020 Abandoned - Covid-19
2019 Buveur D'Air 8-11-12 John P McManus Nicky Henderson Davy Russell 2/1J
2018 Supasundae 8-11-12 Wicklow B’stock (Ire) Ltd Mrs J Harrington RM Power 12/1
2017 Wicklow Brave 8-11-12 Wicklow B’stock (Ire) Ltd Willie Mullins Mr Patrick Mullins 12/1
2016 Vroum Vroum Mag 7-11-5 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 4/6 Fav
2015 Faugheen 7-11-12 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 1/6 Fav
2014 Jezki 6-11-12 J P McManus Jessica Harrington A P McCoy 4/5 Fav
2013 Hurricane Fly 9-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 1/4 Fav
2012 Hurricane Fly 8-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 4/11 Fav
2011 Hurricane Fly 7-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 1/2 Fav
2010 Hurricane Fly 6-11-12 George Creighton & Rose Boyd Willie Mullins Paul Townend 3/1
2009 Solwhit 5-11-12 Top Of The Hill Syndicate Charles Byrnes Davy Russell 2/1 Jt Fav
2008 Punjabi 5-11-12 Raymond Tooth Nicky Henderson GB Barry Geraghty 2/1
2007 Silent Oscar 8-11-12 Patrick Convery Harry Rogers Robbie Power 20/1
2006 Macs Joy 7-11-12 Mac’s J Racing Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty 11/4
2005 Brave Inca 7-11-12 Novices Syndicate Colm Murphy A P McCoy 2/1
2004 Hardy Eustace 7-11-12 Lar Byrne Dessie Hughes Conor O’Dwyer 3/1
2003 Quazar 5-11-13 David Carr Jonjo O’Neill GB Tony Dobbin 7/2
2002 Davenport Milenium 6-11-12 Mrs Noel O’Callaghan Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 11/2
*2001 Moscow Flyer 7-12-00 Brian Kearney Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty 6/1
2000 Grimes 7-11-09 J P McManus Christy Roche Charlie Swan 6/1
1999 Istabraq 7-12-00 J P McManus Aidan O’Brien Charlie Swan 1/4 Fav
1998-96 No race
1995 Fortune And Fame 8-11-08 Michael Smurfit Dermot Weld Richard Dunwoody 4/7 Fav
1994 Fortune And Fame 7-11-08 Michael Smurfit Dermot Weld Brendan Sheridan 4/9 Fav
1993 Camden Buzz 5-11-05 Carmel Byrne Paddy Mullins Charlie Swan Evs Fav
* Run at Leopardstown