The wide-margin winner of her point-to-point, Honeysuckle preserved her unbeaten record when she ran out a convincing winner of the Listed Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Boreen Belle Novices’ Hurdle at Thurles on Saturday afternoon.
Sent off as the odds-on 8/11 favourite, the daughter of Sulamani once again made all in the hands of Rachael Blackmore, and after a slight mistake at the third-last, she soon began to stamp her authority on the two-mile contest.
Asserting from after the second-last, the four-year-old never had to be asked a serious question, as she comfortably accounted for Listed Bumper-second Sassy Diva by three and a-quarter lengths.
Following-up her 12-length defeat of Moskovite on her hurdling debut, Honeysuckle has now won both races since joining Henry de Bromhead, whilst the Listed Thurles victory was her third career success, having also ran out a wide-margin winner of a Dromahane four-year-old mares’ maiden in the spring.
Handler by Jerry Cosgrave on that occasion, she was subsequently sold for €110,000 at the Goffs Punchestown sale and is now as low as 8/1 for the Mares’ Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Kildisart showed real guts to run out a narrow winner of the Graduation Chase at Ascot.
Second behind subsequent Graded winner Claimantakinforgan in a four-year-old maiden at Loughanmore, the six-year-old recorded his biggest success to date in the £50,000 contest, with his short-head defeat of Actival.
There was almost a double in big races on Saturday for horses to have carried the Wilson Dennison colours between the flags, as Ballyarthur, who won his Tyrella maiden for McKeever as a five-year-old, had looked as though he was on course to win the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock.
The now eight-year-old had landed with the advantage over the final fence, however with victory in his grasp up the long Haydock run-in, he let the opportunity slip by him, when succumbing to the renewed challenge of Daklondike.
The six-year-old, who had won his four-year-old maiden at Lingstown for Colin Bowe, continues a good 24 hours for Professor Caroline Tisdall with her former pointers, as Eden Du Houx had landed the listed bumper at Ascot a day earlier.
Following his victory in the £50,000 contest, Daklondike was added as a 33/1 shot for the Grand National at Aintree in the spring.