De Bromhead Looking For Irish Champion Hurdle To Provide Honeysuckle Answers


Superstar mare Honeysuckle will be back in the spotlight at the Dublin Racing Racing festival as she puts her six race unbeaten record on the line as she looks to be heading into the PCI Irish Champion Hurdle.

The six year old spearheads a strong team of runners from De Bromhead's yard that heads to the meeting with the County Waterford-based trainer set to have at least one entry in every Grade One across the festival.

Honeysuckle has a been a star for the yard over the last two years and on both her starts this season she has been faultless winning twice at Fairyhouse with her latest win coming in the Grade One Hatton's Grace Hurdle.

She takes on her biggest challenge next week when put on a left handed track for the first time in two years having last raced that way round in her point to point days and also dropping slightly in trip she will have to be at her best to see of the star studded field.

(Credit At The Races) The trainer said: “She seems in great form, and all seems good with her.

“We’re just looking forward to getting her out again really.

“She obviously hasn’t proven herself left-handed. It can be a factor. She hasn’t shown any signs of it (being a problem) – but until they go and do it, who knows? She won her point-to-point in Dromahane left-handed – but other than that, she’s only run right-handed.

“We’re also dropping in trip. She won a Listed mares’ hurdle in Thurles over two miles last season, but she has always looked very good over two-and-a-half – and we never really saw much reason to change that.

“Again, it is something new to her. At this level (over two miles), it could be a different ball game, but we’ll learn.”

Honeysuckle is a best priced 15/8 favourite for the Irish Champion Hurdle and if she was to land the spoils it would leave her trainer with a very tricky decision as to whether she goes to the Mares Hurdle or the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.

“We’d have to assess everything. At the moment we’re going to the Irish Champion Hurdle and then the Mares’ Hurdle,” he added.

“We’ll have to take a lot of things into account. It depends on her performance on the day and a few other things. Benie Des Dieux and Apple’s Jade are two formidable mares, and you’d have to see what way everything was going.

“I’d say if she did win the Irish Champion Hurdle, a decision on which race she’d run in (at) Cheltenham wouldn’t be made until much nearer the time. It wouldn’t be just made on her performance – there’ll be a lot of other things to weigh up.”