Punchestown Festival News: Honeysuckle can go full bloom in Champion Hurdle

Honeysuckle can extend her winning run to an oh so sweet 16 with victory in the Punchestown Paddy Power Champion Hurdle on Friday, April 29.

Henry De Bromhead's unbeaten wondermare Honeysuckle is poised to make it sweet 16 with a sixteenth win on the spin at Punchestown on Friday, April 29.

De Bromhead is aiming to add to Honeysuckle's second Cheltenham Champion Hurdle with the same number of Punchestown Paddy Power Champion Hurdles.

The County Carlow handler De Bromhead said: "Honeysuckle is in mighty form since Cheltenham. She seems really well. She had to battle to win at Punchestown race last year but they went some pace in it and I think she did what she had to do and was good on the day.

"I think it's fair comment to say she only does what she needs to in order to win her races and that probably has helped her keep reproducing so consistently throughout her career.

"It's a privilege for all of us to be associated with her. She has been incredible since being bought by Peter Molony and Kenny Alexander at Punchestown and we can't wait to go again."

Meanwhile, David Pipe will be hoping to get into the prize money with Adagio after his eighth-place in the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle.

"I think he'll like conditions, he's travelled over well, there's only six runners and quite a lot of prize money on offer so we'll try and pick up as much as we can," said Pipe.

"We were going to go to Aintree but he wasn't quite right so we had to miss that, he hopefully comes here a fresh horse, we'll put a pair of sheepskin cheekpieces on him as well.

"I think he'll like the track, he's travelled over well and seems in good form.

"There is still the one runner that is probably unbeatable (Honeysuckle), but we'll be giving the other four our best shot."

Leading owner JP McManus has two entries in the form of Willie Mullins' Saint Roi and Joseph O'Brien's Darasso.

Saint Roi finished a reasonable fourth behind Honeysuckle at Cheltenham while Darraso was a winner of the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Hurdle at Fairyhouse last time out, albeit in a lower grade.

"Darasso is a class horse," said Frank Berry, racing manager to McManus.

"He won well at Fairyhouse and is probably up against it against the mare (Honeysuckle) but he goes there in good form, in winning form, and he won't mind the ground so we're hoping for a good run.

"He's very consistent and is a great horse to have. He'll rarely let you down.

"Saint Roi ran very well in the Champion Hurdle. He was no match for the mare but if he turns up in the same form and we get place money, we'll be happy."

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