A fairy-tale ending; Honeysuckle, the darling of racing has signed off in style
There was an outpour of emotions throughout Cheltenham as Honeysuckle delivered the fairy-tale ending to a fabulous career, winning the Grade 1 Mares’ Hurdle; a fourth Cheltenham Festival win and a 13th Grade 1 victory, two Champion Hurdles and two Mares’ Hurdles.
An impassioned Rachael Blackmore described the win as important for so many reasons and credited the superstar mare for launching her career. Trainer Henry de Bromhead and owner Kenny Alexander added that Honeysuckle is an amazing mare, they have had so much fun and a wonderful few years. Alexander further commented that she was one of the bravest Champion Hurdle winners ever and confirmed Honeysuckle’s retirement.
Honeysuckle was sold at the 2017 Derby Sale by UK based vendor The Glanvilles Stud to point to point handler Mark O’Hare for €9,500 and has amassed over £1.3million in prize money throughout her career.
Constitution Hill wrote himself into the history books by becoming the first horse in over 50 years to win back-to-back Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Champion Hurdle. Described as a “horse that will be talked about for generations”, Constitution Hill took command of the race three hurdles from home and his unrivalled ability was never challenged with Nico de Boinville providing an ice-cool ride, winning by an incredible nine lengths.
Both trainer Nicky Henderson and owner Michael Buckley were delighted but unsurprised by the victory and have touted a possible Gold Cup bid in the future for the son of the Rathbarry Stud resident Blue Bresil.
Now a six-time winner and five-time Grade 1 winner, Constitution Hill was sold as a foal by Throckmorton Court Stud on behalf of breeder Mrs Sally Noot at the 2017 November NH Sale to Warren Ewing and Barry Geraghty for €16,500.