The Irish Champion Hurdle stays the seemingly subsequent step for Honeysuckle after struggling defeat for the primary time in her profession at Fairyhouse.
Henry de Bromhead’s good mare was bidding for a file fourth Hatton’s Grace Hurdle success and a seventeenth consecutive victory total in Sunday’s two-and-a-half-mile characteristic.
However after travelling powerfully to the lead on the high of the house straight, Honeysuckle’s effort petered out between the ultimate two flights and he or she was crushed slightly below three lengths into third place behind Gordon Elliott’s shock winner Teahupoo and Willie Mullins’ Klassical Dream.
Whereas connections had been dissatisfied to see the eight-year-old lose her unbeaten file, Peter Molony – racing supervisor to proprietor Kenny Alexander – feels there was nonetheless loads of encouragement to be taken from her efficiency.
“She was good this morning, all high quality,” he stated. “It was an ideal run – ending third in a Grade One. The winner is an excellent horse on smooth to heavy floor and we’re solely evaluating it together with her magnificent unbeaten file so far.
“In regular circumstances we would be very pleased with the run and after every little thing she’s finished within the final couple of years we have been in bonus territory, it is a dream.”
Honeysuckle has gained the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Pageant in February in every of the previous three seasons and Molony expects that to be her subsequent port of name.
“In the intervening time, the Irish Champion Hurdle is the plan,” Molony added.
“It was a very good run on Sunday, her first run of the season and we’re pleased, so onwards and upwards.
“I could not be extra pleased for Brian Acheson (successful proprietor). He is been a very good buddy to Kenny and I and Henry. He places an terrible lot into the sport. Nobody deserves success greater than him.”