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Honeysuckle remains unbeaten as Rachael Blackmore retains Champion Hurdle crown

Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle have created yet more history - winning the Unibet Champion Hur...



Honeysuckle remains unbeaten a...
Racing

Honeysuckle remains unbeaten as Rachael Blackmore retains Champion Hurdle crown

Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle have created yet more history - winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle for a second consecutive year. 

The Tipperary rider guided the Henry De Bromhead trained 8-year-old to victory in the feature race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival after going off the 8/15 favourite.

That's 15 wins from 15 for this incredible mare, including 11 Grade One races.

The Nicky Henderson trained Epatante was second with another of the Irish contingent, Gordon Elliot's Zanahiyr third.

The win also marked Blackmore's 10th at Prestbury Park and was the first Irish victory of the week.

Speaking to Racing TV after the win Blackmore cut an emotional figure as she reacted to the reception she received from the crowd and paid tribute to the mare she has struck up such a great partnership with.

"It was incredible, to be honest. Walking back down that shoot, I've never felt anything like that.

"It's just an amazing crowd, an amazing atmosphere.

"I know it's easy to say that when you're winning but it's a very special place and walking back in here to those cheers is just so special.

"She's just incredible.

"Jockeys dream of getting on good horses but she takes that to a whole new level.

"She's special, she's once in a lifetime, I'm so lucky to be riding her.

"Part of me was thinking I should be more nervous before the race but I just have so much confidence in her, she's never let me down."

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