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A 'magic' day - Blackmore celebrates again as Honeysuckle takes Irish Champion Hurdle

Henry De Bromhead trained the winner of the big race of the day.

Leopardstown was in raptures as the wonder-mare Honeysuckle rallied like a warrior to take the feature PCI Irish Champion Hurdle on a day her rider Rachael Blackmore described as “magic”.

rachel-blackmore Rachael Blackmore after Honeysuckle's victory Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Blackmore and trainer Henry de Bromhead had already combined to take a Grade 1 in the shape of Notebook but the roof came off Leopardstown as Honeysuckle overcame a sloppy jump at the last to score at odds of 8/11.

Having been untidy two out, the unbeaten Honeysuckle quickly took over the front-running Petit Mouchoir, but her stablemate headed her again after the last. However, it was Gavin Cromwell’s Darver Star who finished better than the grey, though he could only finish second to the wondermare.

“It’s amazing, my confidence is sky-high,” said Blackmore, 30.

“She has the heart of a lion, she just battled all the way.”

Honeysuckle remains unbeaten, though it is unsure now whether she will go for the Unibet Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham or the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham next month, in which she may take on Benie Des Dieux.

“I thought she jumped well, maybe at the last she was was big and lonely, but I am delighted. You dream of days like this,” de Bromhead said.

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Bookmakers make Honeysuckle 2/1 for the Mares’ Hurdle, 5/1 for the Champion Hurdle, a race confirmed as the next race for Darver Star by Gavin Cromwell.

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Johnny Ward

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