Cheltenham Festival: Rachael Blackmore hoping Honeysuckle 'can have one more big day'

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Horse and rider will always be associated with one another, with Blackmore riding the mare in every one of her 18 starts under rules so far - 16 of which they have won. The nine-year-old is the reigning Champion Hurdle heroine, but two defeats this season have caused connections to decline a bid for the hat-trick and instead aim for the Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle. Honeysuckle won the latter race in 2020 and will bid to end her career with a fourth and final Festival success before she is retired. Blackmore told Betfair: "There is not much more that I can say about Honeysuckle that I haven't said before. "She is an unbelievable mare and she has been an unbelievable mare for me. "She has been incredible for my career. All that she has achieved, and I have been lucky enough to get to ride her. "As has been well publicised, this will be her last race, I won't be looking back. We can look back when it's over. "She has given us all the big days that she could have given us so far, the crowds have been brilliant and I would love her to have one more big day." Blackmore reports Honeysuckle to be working well at home and is backing her for what looks a highly competitive renewal of her Cheltenham contest. "She's in great form, she still feels like she is very well, she still feels like she has plenty of fight in her. "She showed that when she battled to hold off Vauban for second place behind State Man in the Irish Champion Hurdle last month. "It's a very strong race, but Honeysuckle is in great order at home, she's showing us all the right signs and everyone is happy with her. "It's great that she is going to Cheltenham again and it's great that I am going to get to ride her again. "Regardless of what happens on Tuesday, she has been phenomenal mare and it will be brilliant if she can go out on a high."

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