We had a strong favourite for the race in 2022, with Henry De Bromhead’s 2021 heroine, Honeysuckle, the odds-on favourite to successfully defend her crown. Unbeaten in 15 career starts heading into the race, and an impressive winner of the Irish Champion Hurdle in her previous outing, the mount of Rachael Blackmore was the one they all had to beat on the form book.
The most likely fly in the ointment for Honeysuckle was the Willie Mullins representative, Appreciate It, who had won the 2021 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by the small matter of 24 lengths. The only other runner available at a single figure price was Gordon Elliott’s Teahupoo, whilst Epatante looked one of the more interesting outsiders, having won this race in 2020.
- 1st – Honeysuckle 8/11F, Jockey: Rachael Blackmore, Trainer: Henry De Bromhead
- 2nd – Epatante 16/1, Jockey: Aidan Coleman, Trainer: Nicky Henderson
- 3rd – Saint Roi 33/1, Jockey: Mark Walsh, Trainer: Willie Mullins
Prize Money Breakdown
- 1st – £253,215
- 2nd – £95,400
- 3rd – £47,745
- 4th – £23,850
- 5th – £11,970
- 6th – £5,985
- 7th – £2,970
- 8th – £1,530
Tote and Forecast Payouts
- Tote Win – £1.73
- Tote Places – 1st – £1.10, 2nd – £1.70. 3rd – £4
- Exacta – £9.20
- Computer Straight Forecast (CSF) – £12.01
- Trifecta – £85.40
- Tricast – £177
Appreciate It towered over many of his rivals here and was keen to put that long stride to good use. The Mullins runner immediately set out to make the running, with Not So Sleepy and Zanahiyr helping to push the early pace. Epatante had grabbed a good early position, cutting the corners towards the inside rail, whilst Honeysuckle was content to track around the outside in midfield.
Appreciate It still held the lead over the third last, but Rachael Blackmore was only now beginning to ask Honeysuckle to move through the gears. By the second last, the defending champion had smoothly moved level with the long-time leader, before quickening two lengths clear of the field around the final bend. Epatante followed her through and briefly threatened to make a race of it, but a mistake at the last did little to help her cause. Chances are she wouldn’t have gotten to Honeysuckle even without that error, with the champ ultimately prevailing by three and a half lengths. Zanahiyr was third across the line, only to be subsequently disqualified due to a banned substance in his sample.
Another brilliant display from this wonderful mare, who joined the illustrious list of multiple Champion Hurdle winners. A second win in the race for both trainer, Henry De Bromhead, and jockey, Rachael Blackmore.
- 1. Adagio – SP: 28/1, Trainer: David Pipe, Jockey: Tom Scudamore
- 2. Appreciate It – SP: 100/30, Trainer: Willie Mullins, Jockey: Paul Townend
- 3. Glory And Fortune – SP: 150/1, Trainer: Tom Lacey, Jockey: Stan Sheppard
- 4. Not So Sleepy – SP: 125/1, Trainer: Hughie Morrison, Jockey: Jonathan Burke
- 5. Saint Roi – SP: 33/1, Trainer: Willie Mullins, Jockey: Mark Walsh
- 6. Teahupoo – SP: 9/1, Trainer: Gordon Elliott, Jockey: Robbie Power
- 7. Tommy’s Oscar – SP: 25/1, Trainer: Ann Hamilton, Jockey: Danny McMenamin
- 8. Zanahiyr – SP: 28/1, Trainer: Gordon Elliott, Jockey: Jack Kennedy
- 9. Epatante – SP: 16/1, Trainer: Nicky Henderson, Jockey: Aidan Coleman
- 10. Honeysuckle – SP: 8/11F, Trainer: Henry De Bromhead, Jockey: Rachael Blackmore