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Honeysuckle (nearest) and Love Envoi battle it out in the Mares’ Hurdle (SkySports.com).

 

The darling of the national hunt turf bounces back after two shock defeats and the Kieswetter’s Echoes In Rain finishes fourth 

The Henry de Bromhead-trained Honeysuckle made it a fourth Grade 1 Cheltenham Festival win in four successive years when winning today’s David Nicholson Mare’s Hurdle under regular pilot Rachel Blackmore.
 
It was the great mare’s swansong. 
 

She won this race in 2020 and won the Champion Hurdle in both 2021 and 2022.

She wisely avoided the Champion Hurdle this year, having suffered the only two defeats of her career in the build up and with the exceptional Constitutional Hill looking uinbeatable.

She started at odds of 9/4 and from a handy position ended having a dual with 11/1 shot Love Envoi up the final hill.

However, Blackmore extracted more from her after Love Envoi had leapt into the lead over the last.

She fought back and then drew ahead in the closing stages to win by 1,50 lengths.

The Kieswetter’s Barnane Stud own Echoes In Rain and starting at 9/1 she stayed on up the hill from a midfield position to finish a gallant, but well beaten fourth.  

Honeysuckle had 19 races under rules for 17 wins and she won the only point to point she ran in too.