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Rachael Blackmore Lands Satisfying Matt Chapman Dig After Poetic Honeysuckle Win

Rachael Blackmore Lands Satisfying Matt Chapman Dig After Poetic Honeysuckle Win
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Rachael Blackmore had another famous win on Tuesday afternoon at Cheltenham, sealing a fourth win for Honeysuckle at the Festival in the horse's final ever race in Cheltenham.

The victory in the Mares' Hurdle was the second in this race for Honeysuckle, and came after a dramatic push on the final half-furlong to power past Love Envoi.

With Henry de Bromhead the trainer of Honeysuckle, there were emotional scenes immediately after the race, with the family - along with jockey Blackmore - paying tribute to Henry's late son Jack.

A tearful Blackmore spoke to ITV after the race, saying that the entire team wished that Jack could have been with them to celebrate the win.


She also found the time to land a brilliant dig against interviewer Matt Chapman, who had questioned the decision to run Honeysuckle in the Mares' Hurdle ahead of the festival.

Rachael Blackmore hits back at Matt Chapman's pre-race Honeysuckle comments

Ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, Matt Chapman inexplicably questioned the choice to enter Honeysuckle into the Mares' Hurdle, rather than the prestigious Champion Hurdle later in the week, saying:

She should be in the Champion Hurdle. She can't win the Champion Hurdle because she's not in it - no one knows whether she can win this [the Mares' Hurdle] or the Champion Hurdle unless she runs it. That's the whole point of the sport.

If you just say to yourself, 'well, this is easier,' then you'll never have any rivalry at all.


With Honeysuckle nearing retirement, any bid at retaining the Champion Hurdle crown which she won in 2021 and 2022 would have been dependent on a borderline miracle, but that didn't deter Chapman from going in on the race choice.

Chapman went on to say that he "would not be backing her [Honeysuckle] in this race [the Mares' Hurdle] whatsover".


The move from de Bromhead, Blackmore and co. paid off - and Blackmore wasn't shy in reminding Chapman of his comments immediately after the race.

When interviewed by ITV immediately after the Mares' Hurdle, Blackmore praised Honeysuckle and trainer de Bromhead, before joking that she was glad that they had disregarded Chapman's advice:

It's a happiness, she was unbelievable. The way Henry has produced her every day is phenomenal.

As a jockey, I'm so grateful. I'm so grateful he doesn't listen to you anyway, actually! - or we wouldn't have the pleasure of walking back in to the winners' enclosure.

She's just a phenomenal mare, she's been incredible for my career, for everyone down in Knockeen who have looked after her over the years.

Chapman chose not to rise to Blackmore's jab, congratulating her and telling her to enjoy the celebrations in front of the crowd.


There is previous between Chapman and de Bromhead when it comes to Honeysuckle. Hilariously, last year saw Chapman argue that Honeysuckle was not cut out to run the Champion Hurdle - before she claimed a second straight victory in the prestigious race, with de Bromhead giving him a similar on-air treatment to Blackmore's this year.

Incredible stuff - and a worthy way for a legendary horse to bow out.

SEE ALSO: Young Cork Jockey Emotional After Riding First Cheltenham Winner

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