Honeysuckle is the 2021 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner, as Rachael Blackmore completed the greatest victory of her career.
The 11/10 favourite made it 11 wins in a row on the Henry de Bromhead-trained 7-year-old, with Blackmore becoming the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle - or any championship race at the Cheltenham Festival.
Pulling alongside pace-setter Aspire Tower after the second-last, the mare sprinted up the hill to jump the final hurdle several lengths clear, before coasting across the finish line, six-and-a-half-lengths clear of second place.
“It doesn’t matter what you are... we are just jockeys”
Rachael Blackmore is a star ⭐️
— Thom Malone (@thom_malone) March 16, 2021
Last year's winner Epatante never looked like challenging once Honeysuckle made her move, with the Aidan Coleman mount finishing third for Nicky Henderson at odds of 4/1, behind the Willie Mullins-trained Sharjah, who was runner-up for the second year in a row.
Speaking after the race on ITV's coverage, Blackmore said she was lost for words.
"She did everything I wanted her to do. I really can’t believe we’ve won a Champion Hurdle, this is such a special race.
"It’s all about her, she’s unbeaten and she’s getting better. It’s just phenomenal."
Catch the Cheltenham Festival Show every morning on OTB Sports from 10.30.