Honeysuckle on course for Irish Champion Hurdle

Unbeaten Honeysuckle is on course for an Irish Champion Hurdle hat-trick bid at the Dublin Racing Festival next month, connections have confirmed.

The brilliant mare won last year’s renewal by 10 lengths before going on to justify favouritism in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

She made it 13 wins from 13 starts when seeing off Ronald Pump in the Grade One Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in November and, just as she did last season, was kept under wraps over the Christmas period before appearing at Leopardstown in February.

Her trainer, Henry De Bromhead, had a quiet spell over Christmas, recording just four winners from 74 runners in the last two weeks.

However, the Kenny Alexander-owned mare’s racing manager, Peter Molony, is not unduly worried but the stable’s form.

Molony said: “There is no cause for concern on that score.

“Henry decided to ease off her a bit after her last run. Everything is under control and she is on course for the Irish Champion at Leopardstown in early February.”

Honeysuckle is odds-on with most firms to retain her Champion Hurdle crown on March 15.

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