‘I don’t see her going to Cheltenham when she’s beaten’ – Ruby Walsh fears Honeysuckle could run in Sunday’s final race

RUBY WALSH fears Honeysuckle could have her final race on Sunday.

The legendary jockey believes the mare famous for her 16-race winning streak and incredible bond with Rachael Blackmore might not go to the Cheltenham Festival if she is solidly beaten.

Walsh says Honeysuckle's connections could not risk her at Cheltenham if she is clearly beaten in Sunday's Irish Champion Hurdle


Walsh says Honeysuckle’s connections could not risk her at Cheltenham if she is clearly beaten in Sunday’s Irish Champion HurdlePhoto credit: Sportsfile

Honeysuckle suffered defeat for the first time last December when he finished third at Hatton’s Grace.

Henry de Bromhead’s charge is a best price of 15-8 for Sunday’s Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle.

Willie Mullins’ State Man – a runaway winner of the Matheson Hurdle – is the 5-4 favorite for the Dublin Racing Festival box office hit.

And Walsh believes a departure from Cheltenham might be out of the question unless Honeysuckle – currently 8-1 for the Champion Hurdle at the festival – defeats him or finishes narrowly on the winner.

Especially since Nicky Henderson’s unstoppable Constitution Hill will likely be the all-time priced favorite for the Day 1 feature.

Walsh said: “I don’t see her going to Cheltenham if she’s beaten well on Sunday.


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“They are now in early February and I wouldn’t be surprised if over the next six weeks she has shut down and her next visit is to see a stallion.

“I think so, but it’s hard to predict. I’ll be covering what the future holds for Honeysuckle around two-thirty on Sunday!

“Right now her future is Irish hurdles champion and I would love to see her win.

“I’d like to see one of them be authoritative and at least go to Cheltenham and think something can take on Constitution Hill.

“Look, this is Ireland. The champion gets knocked down, and then if she wins again, we’ll all be behind her again.

“With my Willie Mullins hat on, I’d love to see State Man win, but with my human hat on, I’ll be screaming for Honeysuckle.

“I think she was an incredible race mare and I think she, Henry and Rachael have been incredible for the promotion and popularity of the sport. You are unbelievable.

“Rachael and Honeysuckle put people on the gate. We’ve all seen that. We all saw it last year at Punchestown and at Fairyhouse. And we’ll see it again on Sunday in Leopardstown.

“You bring in extra people to race – and that’s brilliant.”

Irish Champion Hurdle odds on Coral

11-10 Statesman

7-4 honeysuckle

Vauban 3:1

25-1 Zanahiyr

33-1 Pied Piper

200-1 Takarengo

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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7280681/honeysuckle-final-race-fears-ruby-walsh/ ‘I don’t see her going to Cheltenham when she’s beaten’ – Ruby Walsh fears Honeysuckle could run in Sunday’s final race


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