Rachael Blackmore: An incredible day for an incredible mare – let’s go out in style, Honeysuckle
AT last, the time for talking is done, and the racing gets underway.
I’m sure people were talking about this Festival before the last one had even finished!
The TimesBlackmore’s big book of rides on day one are spearheaded by Honeysuckle[/caption]
All the build-up, all the hype, the preview has lasted a year, and it has been a very intense past few weeks.
From a jockey’s perspective, I just can’t wait now for the first race, when it all gets going.
Henry is taking over a lovely team of horses. It’s an important week for all of us, and I’m looking forward to things getting underway.
INTHEPOCKET (1.30) will go for the Supreme now after all the rain and the changing ground.
He is a very nice horse, he kept on well to win a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Naas just before Christmas, when he probably wasn’t helped by the omission of the last two flights of hurdles.
Then he ran a solid race in the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival last time to finish second behind Il Etait Temps.
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He is a horse who has a big future, and hopefully he can run well here and get the week off to a great start.
There is not much more that I can say about HONEYSUCKLE (4.10) that I haven’t said before.
She is simply 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 ride her.
As has been well publicised, this will be her last race and I won’t be looking back. We can do that when it’s over.
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Honeysuckle 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. She deserves it.
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, everyone is happy with her.
It’s great 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.
It was nice to pick up the ride on BAD (4.50) for Ben Pauling in the Boodles Hurdle.
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Spare rides are very difficult to get at Cheltenham, and I have never ridden for Ben before, so it was nice to pick this one up.
I don’t know very much about Bad, but he looks like a nice horse. I watched his runs there in France the other night, and he looks very straightforward, it looks like he jumps well.
He finished second in his first two hurdles for Didier Guillemin at Bordeaux in April last year, and he was good winning there in November.
Ben and his team are positive about him, and his handicap rating of 126 looks fair, it is lower than the rating he was given in France.
All his form in France is on soft or heavy ground, so the rain shouldn’t do him any harm, and I am looking forward to riding him.
Rachael Blackmore is an ambassador for and was speaking to Betfair.
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