Honeysuckle blossoms at Fairyhouse

Honeysuckle blossoms at Fairyhouse

HONEYSUCKLE (GB) on Sunday provided the British breeding industry with a fantastic success when the classy mare stormed to victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse.

Henry de Bromhead’s five-year-old daughter of SULAMANI is now unbeaten in four starts over hurdles after she impressively claimed a first Grade 1 under Rachael Blackmore.

The Kenneth Alexander-owned Honeysuckle, a fourth foal out of the late LANDO mare FIRST ROYAL, was a class above 15 other rivals as she ended up with five and a half lengths in hand of Elfile as the 6-4 favourite.

De Bromhead’s inmate, a half-sister to point-to-point scorers DUNRAVEN ROYAL and COLORADO DOC, was bred by Dr Geoffrey Guy at Doug and Lucy Procter’s Glanvilles Stud in Sherbourne, Dorset. Grade 1 winner SAM SPINNER (GB) was also bred at Glanvilles Stud.

Honeysuckle was offered at the Goffs Punchestown Sale within a few days of her winning a maiden point-to-point at Dromahane on April 22, 2018, and was bought by Peter Molony, on behalf of Alexander, for 110,000 euro.

Doug Procter, of Glanvilles Stud, said:

“I’m absolutely over the moon – but absolutely shell-shocked.

“That race was over two and a half miles, but she is better over farther – only her class got her through.

“I liked Honeysuckle so much from the get-go that I sent the mare back to Sulamani and we now have a year-younger full brother called LAST ROYAL. He has been backed and broken, but he’s in a field at the minute as he’s a big, backward horse. 

“The other foal we got out the mare is a SHIROCCO filly called ROCK ROYAL in France. She is quite little, which is unusual. I sold her to race in Jersey, but I’ve just managed to buy her back to be covered. 

“I’m so delighted with Honeysuckle, and hopefully this is the start of even bigger things.”

Honeysuckle’s trainer, Henry de Bromhead, added:

“She’s some five-year-old and has achieved so much already.

“She’s won over two and two and a half miles and looks like she could go further again.

“She jumped really well, bar one, and is a really exciting mare. She’s in the two-and-a-half-mile novice on the Friday of Punchestown so we’ll see how she is.”