Confirmed runners and riders for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday | Horse Racing News

Caroline Norris

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Honeysuckle: superstar was confirmed for the Champion Hurdle on Sunday morning

Caroline Norris

Mighty mare and last year’s heroine Honeysuckle will face nine rivals in Tuesday’s Unibet Champion Hurdle on day one of the Cheltenham Festival after Sunday morning’s declarations.

The ten entries were confirmed by connections and include 2020 winner Épatante and the Willie Mullins-trained Appreciate It, who has not raced since winning the Supreme on Tuesday’s card 12 months ago.


Unibet Champion Hurdle racecard and betting


His fellow Irish raider Teahupoo also runs as do Zanahiyr, Adagio, Glory And Fortune, Not So Sleepy, Saint Roi and Tommy’s Oscar.

Trained by Henry de Bromhead for Kenny Alexander, Honeysuckle is unbeaten in 14 races and is considered by many as a banker for the meeting and she won the Champion Hurdle by six and a half lengths a year ago.

She has been flawless since, adding another three Grade 1s to her immaculate CV, which includes another Cheltenham victory in the 2020 Mares’ Hurdle.

“I’d be wound up just trying to get the horses there as best we can,” De Bromhead said on Sunday morning.

“I’d love to do as well as last year [when the yard also won the Champion Chase and Gold Cup], but if we could do half as well we’d have to be very happy. Last year was extraordinary.”

There have been fewer fireworks for the stable this season and De Bromhead added: “I think they [the horses] are good. I’ve found different things more frustrating – a horse was meant to run yesterday and would have possibly been odds-on, but couldn’t run for a silly, niggly thing.

“We’ve had a lot of that, but maybe I’m making excuses. They seem really healthy and have scoped well and their bloods are great. You’d like to have had more winners coming into the meeting, but we haven’ t and that’s it.”

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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Henry of Bromhead:

Henry de Bromhead: “In her last few runs, she hasn’t really had to go all out”

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

It seems there is little to concern the top trainer as regards his stable star, who will be ridden – as usual – by Rachael Blackmore.

“She just seems to be so good and has such a will to win,” he added on Racing TV. “Up until now, there’s no set tactic Rachael has to work with. I suppose that’s a reflection of how good she is.

“Appreciate It looks very good and it sounds like they’re happy with Epatante and Teahupoo has been impressive, but there were plenty like that last year. I haven’t gone in depth into the race and I’d say it’s similar [to last year]while her Blessed Gods run [in the Mares’ Hurdle] was way up there.

“In her last few runs, she hasn’t really had to go all out. We’ll see if she’s got more on her plate.”

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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Can Appreciate It dethrone Honeysuckle at Cheltenham?

Can Appreciate It dethrone Honeysuckle at Cheltenham?

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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