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Honeysuckle’s Winning Streak Ends - Could This Signal Her Final Outing?

Throughout her impressive career, Honeysuckle is a mare who’s never been beaten – at least, she was until her last outing. Taking on Hatton’s Grace Hurdle for the fourth time, the smart bay managed to snag a meagre third place.

Now, many are asking whether this last run might be her last time on the track.

A champion defeated

When Honeysuckle and rider Rachael Blackmore lined up at the start of the Grace Hurdle, anticipation was high. Unbeaten in 17 starts, it was the fourth time the mare had tackled the contest – and on the previous three occasions, she had come home victorious.

Sadly, her fourth outing proved less fortunate, with Honeysuckle putting in a valiant effort but bagging a lacklustre third. Still, Kenny Alexander proved as magnanimous in defeat as in victory, stating: “They all get beat in the end, unfortunately. It doesn’t take anything away from what she has achieved, and she has taken me to races and compete[ed] in races that I could never have dreamed of doing.”

He was right, of course, that one defeat is not enough to diminish the sheer magnitude of what Honeysuckle has accomplished over the course of her career – and yet, for a time, it looked like such a statement may not have needed to be made.

That’s because another victory was so nearly in Honeysuckle’s grasp. As the hushed crowd watched on, the valiant bay took the lead – albeit briefly. Unfortunately, though, an 18th consecutive win was not to be, and Honeysuckle put up little resistance as both Teahupoo and Klassical Dream sailed past.

Half a mile too long

One thing that must be said in Honeysuckle’s favour is that she remains unbeaten over two miles. Sadly, Sunday’s race was over two and a half, which is not where she thrives, and she faced challenging ground to boot. Rain had conspired against her in the hours previous, turning the soil to yielding-to-soft by the time she charged down the track.

It was hard to imagine Honeysuckle could be beaten, but the most experienced commentators would perhaps argue that the clues were there. These were not the mare’s favoured conditions – and sadly, this showed in the result. For those embedded within the community, these are details that many fans and tipsters may have observed prior to the race.

Perhaps the only ones who bet against Honeysuckle will have been those who had the foresight to use the services of expert tipsters. These types of outfits select their professionals carefully to ensure they deliver long-term profits and accurate forecasts. With an all-time ROI of 18.1 per cent, they’re there to help bettors make the right decisions and call their wagers correctly. It would have been important to consider many factors surrounding the race.

For those who bet on Honeysuckle in her fourth Grace Hurdle, their services may have brought insight into the challenges the mare faced, and how the conditions may have not been in a position to win.

An uncertain future

So, what does this latest result mean for Honeysuckle? Many suggested it could signal her retirement, but it’s not as cut and dry as that. While Honeysuckle may have been defeated this time, there remain 17 occasions when she stormed home victorious.

That said, there would certainly be no shame in retiring the eight-year-old to stud – and indeed, the decision to do so could be made in plenty of time for a 2023 covering.

Wherever Honeysuckle’s future lies – in breeding more champions or in claiming an 18th win in her own right – we’re excited to see how much more this magnificent mare can accomplish.