Rachael Blackmore has described Honeysuckle as a 'once-in-a-lifetime horse.'
The Tipperary rider was onboard the 8-year-old as they retained their Unibet Champion Hurdle crown on day one of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.
Speaking to OTB Sports after the victory, Blackmore said she's privileged to get to ride her.
"She's a phenomenal mare, we're all so lucky to be involved with her.
"It's fantastic to have Kenny Alexander [owner] here today and brilliant to have the crowd as well."
🗣️ "Incredible, she's a phenomenal mare. We're all so lucky to be involved with her."@rachaelblackmor reacts to her Champion Hurdle win aboard Honeysuckle 🐎
🗣️ "It's very special."
🏇 with @HRIRacing #EveryRacingMoment #Cheltenham pic.twitter.com/cdF444Hecd
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) March 15, 2022
The win marked 15-out-of-15 for the mare that Blackmore has struck up such a strong partnership with.
11 of those 15 have been in Grade One contests.
Blackmore said she wasn't nervous in the run-up as she knows how strong a contender Honeysuckle is.
"I was actually really looking forward to it.
"Obviously there's a lot of pressure when you're riding an unbeaten favourite in the Champion Hurdle but I was looking forward to it.
"I have a lot of confidence in her because I know what she's capable of.
"I suppose halfway round I wasn't as happy [as last year], I was a little bit wider than I would have liked.
"I just feel like no matter what the conditions she seems to just pull it out of the bag."
68,506 people made their way to Presbury Park on Tuesday, a record for the opening day of the festival.
Many of these were there to see Honeysuckle and Blackmore.
12 months on from making history the pair got the special reception they deserved in the winners' enclosure.
Blackmore said this was a special moment;
"It's incredible, it really is.
"The whole way walking back down in the shoot, Chloe and Coleman walked her back down as well and the three of us were just buzzing, it was class.
"It's a special place to walk back into any time of the year but to walk back in with that crowd the whole way around you is special."