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Dublin: 1°C Friday 7 May 2021

Honeysuckle heads Punchestown’s Champion Hurdle field

De Bromhead’s brilliant mare to face seven rivals on Friday.

HENRY DE BROMHEAD fires a three-strong team in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle at Punchestown – with the peerless Honeysuckle at the forefront.

The brilliant mare has taken her form to a new level this season, winning a second Irish Champion Hurdle before a dominant display in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

She is 11 from 11 under Rules and is odds-on to remain unbeaten against seven rivals on Friday.

De Bromhead also fields the five-year-old Aspire Tower, a fine fourth at Cheltenham, and Jason The Militant who unseated Rachael Blackmore at Aintree.

Denise Foster’s Abacadabras returned to winning ways at Aintree, though, and will ensure Honeysuckle does not face a stroll in the park.

Willie Mullins’ Sharjah got closest to her last month and also lines up, as does Nicky Henderson’s Epatante – winner of the 2020 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

With Goshen and Darver Star completing the eight-strong field, the race is set to be one of the highlights of the week.

Just six have been declared in the Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle – and they include De Bromhead’s Decimation, due to run on Wednesday.

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Stablemate Bob Olinger is the headline act, though, after his imperious display at Cheltenham in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

Mullins will field three of his rivals – Gaillard Du Mesnil, who proved no match for him at Cheltenham, Ganapathi  and N’Golo.

Jessica Harrington’s Ashdale Bob, a Grade Two winner at Fairyhouse last time out, is also in the field. But Mullins’ Supreme winner Appreciate It is a notable absentee.

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