Honeysuckle Confirmed For Benie Des Dieux Clash In Mares Hurdle


Leading mare Honeysuckle for trainer Henry De Bromhead has now been confirmed that she will run in the Grade 1 Mares Hurdle on the first day of the Cheltenham festival instead of the Champion Hurdle.

Honeysuckle has a been a star for the yard over the last two years and on all three her starts this season has been pretty much faultless by winning twice at Fairyhouse including in the Grade 1 Hatton's Grace Hurdle and last time out she narrowly stayed on to take the Irish Champion Hurdle.

Overall the Kenneth Alexander-owned six-year-old has claimed seven wins in a row if including her point to point race aswell and it has been up in the air for some time as to what race at Cheltenham she should go for but it is now finalised.

She went into 4/1 in places off the back of her win the Irish Champion Hurdle but connections have decided over the further trip in the mare and she will take on the stand out horse in that division Benie Des Dieux for Willie Mullins.

Henry De Bromhead told the PA news agency: “That (Mares’ Hurdle) is where we’re going.

“It was a tough decision, but we’ve made it, and that’s it.“She seems in great form.”

Peter Moloney was the man who purchased the 110,000 euro mare and oversees the goings on for Honeysuckle's owners acting as their racing manager and he believes they have arguably taken the harder route to a winner at this year's festival.

(Credit At The Races) He said: “I think everyone knew we were always going to leave it until late. In our opinion she’s a two-and-a-half-mile mare – that’s her optimum trip.

“I’ve read somewhere that we’re lacking in ambition – but if taking on Benie Des Dieux is lacking ambition, I don’t know what ambition is!

“It will be a great race. Let’s hope everything turns up in one piece.”