Honeysuckle sees unbeaten run come to an end as Teahupoo takes Grade One hurdle

The Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle was the pick of the races from a bumper day at Fairyhouse

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Honeysuckle and Teahuppo jump a hurdle during the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse

Honeysuckle suffered a first defeat as Teahupoo sprung a massive surprise at Fairyhouse to take the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, writes Ben Hart. 

The odds-on favourite was seeking a 17th straight victory and looking to make history by becoming the first four-time winner of the Grade 1 hurdle.

The eight-year-old eased into the lead under ever-present rider Rachael Blackmore and looked on course for another memorable victory.

But Willie Mullins’ Klassical Dream and Teahupoo rallied late on before Gordon Elliott’s 20-1 shot inched ahead at the line.

It was not the start Henry De Bromhead’s mare wanted at the beginning of what may be her last season in training and owner Kenny Alexander said he would not rush to make a decision on her future.

"They all get beat in the end unfortunately and she's been beaten,” he told the Racing Post. “She ran her heart out, she seemed to be going as good as ever then suddenly we've gone over the last and been beaten.

"It doesn't take anything away from what she's achieved, she's taken me to places and won races that I'd never have dreamed of. Today just wasn't to be."

De Bromhead added: “It’s a horse race and unfortunately she got beaten and that’s it. We’ve had some run with her for so long and there we go. They’re going to get beaten one day. She’s been incredible and fair play to the winner.”

The start to the day’s racing was just as dramatic, with Malina Girl recovering from a stumble at the first to pip Optional Mix to the line.

A winning Irish debut was next – Lossiemouth downed stablemate Zarak The Brave in the Grade 3 Bar One Racing Juvenile Hurdle and looks like one to watch for Mullins.

Elliott was the big winner in the Bar One Racing Porterstown Handicap Chase with an impressive one-two as Punitive pipped Fakiera.

He was unable to repeat the feat in the first of the Grade 1 races, however, with 18-1 outsider Irish Point finishing just shy of Marine Nationale in the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle.

Victory preserves Marine Nationale’s unbeaten run and handed trainer Barry Connell and jockey Michael O’Sullivan, who only turned professional a few months ago, their first Grade 1 wins.

Mighty Potter then extended his own unbeaten record over fences with a classy run in the Racing Drinmore Novice Chase, as a good day for trainer Elliott just kept on getting better.

Merlin Grant then took the Baroneracing.com Handicap Hurdle for Emmet Mullins before Better Days Ahead returned to form with a win in the final race of the day, the Giving Cash Back Daily Flat Race.  

We’ve had some run with her for so long and there we go. She’s been incredible and fair play to the winner.

- Henry De Bromhead