Just like Envoi Allen an hour earlier, Honeysuckle preserved her unbeaten record with a second consecutive success in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse, and in the process completing a Grade 1 treble on the card for point-to-point graduates.
A four-year-old mares’ maiden winner for Jerry Cosgrave and Mark O’Hare, the six-year-old has yet to taste to defeat and kept her perfect record with a winning re-appearance on her first start since defeating Benie Des Dieux in the Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Tracking the leader throughout, Henry de Bromhead’s charge loomed large rounding the home bend but she had to dig deep to fend off a host of challengers in the 2m4f contest, ultimately beating last season’s Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle runner-up Ronald Pump by half-a-length in the hands of Rachael Blackmore who was herself winning her tenth Grade 1.
“The winning run continues, she is just brilliant. Rachael said that they really sprinted up the straight and that she took a good blow at the third last so she will come on plenty for it, I’m delighted with that,” said de Bromhead of Kenny Alexander’s star mare.
“They were hard at it down to the last and she toughed it out well.
“First run since March, you want to try and have them as straight as you can without overing doing it bearing in mind that it is a long season. Last year we were able to go for the conditions race here earlier in the month, so hopefully she will step forward from it.
“We are planning for the Irish Champion Hurdle in Leopardstown, a path to last year and then we will see."