On Tuesday, both Honeysuckle and Constitution Hill were among 17 entries for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on March 14—a step closer to the highly anticipated contest.
Constitution Hill, trained by Nicky Henderson, is unbeaten and won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by 22 lengths over stablemate Jonbon, arguably the festival’s best performance.
Honeysuckle, who suffered her first defeat at Fairyhouse last month in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, may complete her sensational career with a hat trick in the feature on day one of the festival.
Willie Mullins, who may also be represented by Vauban, Sir Gerhard, Sharjah, and Echoes In Rain, has entered State Man as one of Constitution Hill’s greatest threats.
The number of entries for the 2m12f competition at this stage last year was 23; this year, there were only 17 entries.
Honeysuckle is still running in the Mares’ Hurdle, but Epatante is not there.
After Marie’s Rock was one of 24 horses entered, Henderson will also have a leading contender in the Mares’ Hurdle. Honeysuckle is also in the running, despite connections favouring the Champion Hurdle once more.
With an emphatic victory in the Relkeel Hurdle on New Year’s Day at Cheltenham, Marie’s Rock is the ante-post favourite to retain the Mares’ crown she won last year at odds of 18-1.
Epatante, her stablemate, was omitted by Henderson from the 2m4f Grade 1 entries, but she could be added later. Additionally, she is entered in the Champion Hurdle.
With Grade 1 winners Brandy Love and Echoes In Rain entered, Mullins is expected to hold a strong hand, and he may also be represented by Shewearsitwell, Braganza, and Gauloise. Mullins has won this race nine times since it was first introduced in 2008, six of those victories coming with Quevega.
Porter is flooring in pursuit of a Stayers hat trick.
Flooring Porter, who leads a field of 28 for the day-three highlight, will attempt to win the Stayers’ Hurdle for the third time in a row.
Home By The Lee, a fellow Irish raider who has defeated Flooring Porter twice this season, will present the eight-year-old, who is trained by Gavin Cromwell, with a formidable obstacle.
After winning the Jack de Bromhead Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown in style last month, Joseph O’Brien’s team is 6-1 with most companies.
It is anticipated that Paisley Park will also compete for Emma Lavelle. Paisley Park has finished third to Flooring Porter in this race the past two years. On Boxing Day, the veteran showed off his class by winning the Long Walk Hurdle at Kempton.
Champ, who won the Newbury Long Distance Hurdle over Paisley Park, was not entered.
The number of entries for the Stayers’ Hurdle has decreased since 2022, when 33 entries were received.
Entry lists in full
Champion Hurdle (17)
Echoes In Rain
I Like To Move It
Jason The Militant
Not So Sleepy
Mares’ Hurdle (24)
Bop Bop Bobbin
Echoes In Rain
Get A Tonic
Molly Ollys Wishes
Stayers’ Hurdle (28)
Chacun Pour Soi
Haut En Couleurs
Home By The Lee
Sire Du Berlais
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