Henry de Bromhead hailed both Rachael Blackmore and his star mare Honeysuckle as 'incredible' following their success in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle at Punchestown on Friday evening.
The seven-year-old, who was once again guided to victory by Blackmore, remains unbeaten after 12 races.
The Waterford trainer didn't repeat his incredible Cheltenham and Aintree performances and this final day win was in fact his first of the festival.
“We just felt Willie looked a bit down at the start of the week, so we took our foot off the gas a little bit for a few days! He’s looking much happier now,” joked de Bromhead.
“It just hasn’t been as good as it was, sadly, for various reasons I’d say.
"I was hoping she’d get us out of trouble and as ever, she did. She’s an incredible mare and obviously Rachael’s an incredible rider.
"The combination is deadly and we’re very lucky to have both of them. The pair of them were brilliant together.
🗣️"I am very relieved - she is some woman to get me out of trouble!"@rachaelblackmor has nothing but praise for the superstar mare, Honeysuckle ⭐ pic.twitter.com/erT90CgKcG
— Punchestown (@punchestownrace) April 30, 2021
Honeysuckle came home ahead of the Willie Mullins trained Sharjah and Nicky Henderson's Epatante.
It wasn't plain sailing for 4/7 favourite Honeysuckle with a bit of a scare coming to the last, giving Sharjah a chance to catch her.
However, she pulled away again on the run-in to win by two and a quarter lengths.
de Bromhead acknowledged this strong finish.
“I’m probably never happy during a race. She was always travelling well.
"She was a bit slow at a couple.
"I thought coming to the last we might be in trouble with Patrick [Mullins] coming but she picked up really well again.
“I’m delighted for Kenny Alexander, Peter Molony and all the team at home. We’re very lucky to have her. She’s a queen.”