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24 May 2022

'Special mare' carries Tipperary jockey's dreams to Leopardstown this weekend

Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle bidding for third successive Irish Champion Hurdle success

Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle

The winning combination of Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle

Tipperary jockey Rachael Blackmore is counting down the days to renewing her partnership with star mare Honeysuckle in the Grade 1 Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown this weekend. 

Honeysuckle heads the six entries remaining in Sunday’s highlight, a race that she has won for the past two years. If she can win on Sunday, Honeysuckle will extend her unbeaten run of 13 career victories, an achievement that her rider attributes to her horse’s incredible winning attitude.

Blackmore said, “Honeysuckle is just a special mare – she is above and beyond anything else, she has a massive will to win and she has dug deep a few times when she has really had to. 

“She is very versatile in a lot of different areas and to be able to adapt as she does to different situations, different races and different tactics makes her a dream to ride. Henry and everyone in the yard do a fantastic job with her.

“We were really happy with her performance first-time out at Fairyhouse last November – it was a great start to her season. She has a phenomenal record and every day we go out we just try to keep that going.

“It’s every jockey’s dream is to be associated with a horse like Honeysuckle in their career and it’s a real privilege to be part of her team.

“Dublin Racing Festival is a fantastic weekend of racing and it’s brilliant that Honeysuckle is going for another Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle. Hopefully we can put up a good show again. We are in countdown mode and looking forward to the weekend getting going now.

“It’s great to have the crowds back - they bring such a special atmosphere. Honeysuckle got an unbelievable reception at the Dublin Racing Festival in 2020 and I really hope we will be walking back into the winners’ enclosure on Sunday," the Killenaule jockey added.

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